Friday, October 11, 2013

Grass Farmers to Hear About Managing for Profits Nov. 4-5 at Lake Ozark

Livestock farmers depend on good grass to make cheaper gains, affecting profits. Those topics are featured at the Missouri Forage and Grassland Council meeting, Nov. 4-5, Lake Ozark, Mo.

Grass farmers will hear about new toxin-free fescue grasses and proper use of managed grazing, says Craig Roberts, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist.

Other talks include grazing economics and marketing pasture-finished beef.

The first day’s program includes an economic outlook for beef by Scott Brown, MU livestock economist. With cow numbers at lowest levels since 1952, some farmers are rebuilding their herds. That will require more and better pastures, organizers believe.

Conference sign-in starts at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 4, at Port Arrowhead on the Highway 54 business loop south of Bagnell Dam.

Keynote speaker will be Burke Teichert of Carrus Land Systems. He will tell five essentials of profitable ranch management. He has managed ranches for more than 30 years.

Missouri producers Darrell Franson, Lawrence County, and David Hall, Howell County, will tell why, and why not, to renovate pastures with novel-endophyte fescue.

Franson represents MFGC on a new fescue alliance giving education and management tips on fescue.

The opening program on the second day will be on pasture-finished beef. Chris Boeckmann of Osage County and Meera Scarrow of Greene County will share production and marketing experiences.

Byron Wiegand, meat scientist at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, will follow with “Beef Value Cuts.”

Jim Russell, professor of animal science, Iowa State University, will tell of mob grazing as a tool for grassland management.

Russell has one of the few scientific studies of mob grazing in Midwest pastures. “Mob grazing involves super-high stocking densities on restricted grazing areas,” Roberts said. “It’s a tool for cleaning up out-of-control grasslands. It is used more often on western ranges.”

Mark Kennedy, grazing specialist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will wrap up the day with a post-drought pasture report. His topic: “When Do You Renovate?” NRCS is a co-sponsor of the event.

The registration form is available at The full agenda is listed. Fees depend on days and meals attended. The website tells how to register by mail. For details, call Joetta at MFGC office, mornings only, at 573-499-0886.


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