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K-State, local experts plan grazing tour to educate about cover crops

K-State, local experts plan grazing tour to educate about cover crops

Cover crops 2

Cool season covers such as oats planted in early August fit well with fall calving cows. They can graze through early December while still maintaining quality, UNL beef systems specialist Mary Drewnoski said.

Kansas State University extension specialists and agents will host a cover crop workshop and livestock grazing tour Monday, Dec. 6.

Officials say the free event will offer expert advice to producers about how they can introduce cover crops in their operations for improved soil health and as a food source for cattle.

Registration begins at 10 a.m. at the 4-H building in Norton, with the program beginning at 10:30 a.m. For those interested, transportation will be provided from the Fort Hays State University campus at 8:30 a.m. to Norton, as well as to several farms in Norton County for the afternoon grazing tour. Lunch will be provided.

The planned events will include workshops to educate producers on how to make cover crops work in their operations, and techniques to integrate livestock grazing with cover crops. More information about the day is available online from the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment.

“We are excited to give participants the opportunity to see how easy it is to move cattle during the cover crop grazing season,” said Stacie Minson, K-State Research and Extension watershed specialist. “Using these types of crops reduces the number of days producers need to feed their livestock, and it allows cattle to do what they do best: graze to gain.”

Workshop panelists will include Minson, as well as a K-State livestock specialist, agronomist and local producers. Topics will include grazing cover crops and how to choose the right cover crop mix, how cover crops can improve soil health, and ways these crops protect water quality.

The field day is sponsored by the Twin Creeks Extension District and Big Creek Middle Smoky Hill River Watersheds.

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