Celebrate National Forage Week!

The American Forage and Grassland Council is excited to celebrate the 3rd Annual National Forage Week June 18-24, 2017 as an effort to raise awareness to the importance and impact of forages. As the leader and voice of economically and environmentally sound forage focused agriculture, AFGC understands the impact of forages on the world and wants to share that knowledge by focusing our education efforts during National Forage Week.AFGC 12.jpg

Featured Publication: KY Forage YouTube Channel

Our new forage specialist in Princeton, Dr. Chris Teutsch, has introduced many great resources including an excellent forage based YouTube Channel! KYForages contains a wealth of information in video clips and presentations of all lengths. Recently, Chris’s graduate student Kelly Mercier posted a comprehensive discussion on grazing calculations. Check it out!  ~ Krista Lea


Hay Scam Alert

It has come to our attention that several hay sellers have been scammed by potential buyers. A potential buyer send a text message to a seller requesting hay. After the price is set, they send a check twice that of the agreed price with the explanation that the additional money is for shipping and/or taxes. The buyer then asks the seller to just wire the difference to them. The seller wires the money to the buyer, then the buyer’s check bounces.  We are asking anyone that feels they are being scammed to contact their local law enforcement and to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. ~ Ilissa Nolan, Texas Dept. of Ag.


Sign Up Now Open for Western Hay Trip

We hope that you will be able to join us late summer as the American Forage and Grassland Council and the Forage and Grassland Foundation sponsor a unique glimpse into hay and forage production in the Northwestern U.S. We will gather in Pocatello, ID and then proceed west until we reach Seattle, WA for a 8 day trip exploring modern hay production. We will also see dairy operations, tourist sites and the Simplot potato plant that produces 3 million pounds of french fries per day.

This will be a once in lifetime event.  Dates are August 22 to August 30, 2017.  Registration is $1500 which includes lodging and bus transportation. Participants are responsible for their flights to Pocatello, ID and home from Seattle, WA.  A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due by July 15, 2017 with full payment due by July 31, 2017. For more information or to register, visit http://www.afgc.org and click events.   ~ Tom Keene


Not too late to plant Warm Season Annuals

Planting warm season annual grasses like pearl millet, sudangrass, crabgrass, and sorghum-sudangrass is a great way to produce quality forage for the summer months. Even thought it’s already June, there is still plenty of warm weather for these forages to produce excellent hay and baleage yields and to extend the grazing season. Sudangrass and crabgrass can provide high quality hay and grazing. The larger stems of pearl millet and sorghum-sudangrass make them more suited for baleage or grazing. For specific variety information, go to the UK Forage Website under Forage Variety Trials and open the 2016 Long Term Summary Report to page 4. For example, the table below shows average performance of sudangrass varieties over the last six years with averages over 9 years. Note that 100 means the variety has average yield and >100 means better than average. Remember that BMR varieties are higher quality, so some reduction in yield is often acceptable. Refer to the “2016 Warm Season Annual Report” for detailed information on variety performance including yield, seedling vigor, and maturity.  ~ Ray Smith


UK Equine Farm and Facilities Expo June 8

The University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host the annual Equine Farm and Facilities Expo from 3:30 to 8 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 8, at New Vocations at Mereworth Farm, 719 Dolan Lane in Lexington. The event is free, and a meal will be provided.

Horse owners and farm managers will have the opportunity to visit exhibitor booths and see a range of equipment and supplies for horse farms of all sizes. UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment extension specialists will provide instruction about practical aspects of management for equine operations including barn design, farm site planning, nutrient intake regulation and horse pasture management. Specialists will staff informational booths and farm tours will be available as well.

While not required, an RSVP is appreciated for food planning purposes. Please email equine@uky.edu to RSVP. For more information about this and other UK Ag Equine Programs events, visit http://www.ca.uky.edu/equine.  ~ UK Ag. Communications

2017 Equine Field Day Flyer Final

Forage Workers Tour Summary

Every year faculty, students and staff who work with forages at UK tour a region of Kentucky. This year we were joined by NRCS state grazing specialists Adam Jones (KY) and Greg Brann (TN).  Day one started with a tour of Ike Boutwell’s grazing backgrounding system in Hardin county. Based on Mr. Boutwell’s system, he moves a million pounds of beef through his farm every year, with most of his cattle selling to Iowa. The next farm stop was Irvin Ramer’s organic grazing dairy in Todd County. Mr. Ramer’s Jersey milking herd obtains the majority of their feed throughout the grazing season from high quality pasture. His farm is also a location of a UK/UT project to determine what forage mixtures are best for organic dairy farmers. Within the next 3 years there will  60 organic dairies in KY (30 at present). To wrap up the first day, Menno Beiler gave the group a tour of the Kentucky Organic Farm and Feed Inc. (KOFFI) near Guthrie, KY. This feed mill is being substantially expanded and is currently shipping organic feed as far away as Florida.


Dr. Ray Smith, UK Forage Extension Specialist, answering questions in front of Irvin Ramer’s herd of organic dairy cattle.

Following an overnight stay at the Lake Barkley State Park, we toured a grass finished beef cattle farms in Calloway county, KY. The owners, Michael and Stacie Palmer raise and market their beef under the Palmer Farms Grass Finished Beef label. They prepared samples of their beef for the group to try – it was delicious! Our final producer stop was at Black Hawk Farm in Caldwell county where they finish and market high-end beef to restaurants in Louisville, Nashville, etc… These cattle are Angus crossed with purebred Wagoo bulls from Japan. The Wagoo cattle finish a little slower than typical American beef breeds, but they add substantial marbling in their last finishing months. This farm also produces 9,000 acres of white corn to ship to New Zealand for chicken production and make a high quality finishing ration with the grain screening, other products and forages. The 2017 Forage Workers Tour finished up with a trip to the UK Research and Education Center at Princeton, KY where the group learned what their fellow researchers are working on outside of Lexington.   ~ AnnMarie Kadnar