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Grasslands Partnership Invites Southern Indiana Producers to Participate in Farm-based Project

By Ashvini Malshe

The Grasslands Partnership invites forage-based livestock producers in southern Indiana to become partners in a demonstration/research effort that will assist in the implementation of grasslands management practices.

The goal of this effort is to improve the productivity of farms dominated by tall fescue, a cool-season grass. Partner-producers must have a farm operation located within the “fescue belt” region; southern Indiana is on the northern edge of this area.

To get started, interested participants should fill out an interest form online. Purdue University Extension staff will review the form and contact those who qualify for the project. Extension staff will then work with producers to implement one or more of the following grasslands management practices in their farm operation:

  • Establishing native warm-season grass pasture or managing native grass pasture with prescribed burn
  • Improving grazing management to maintain optimal leaf surface and allow adequate pasture recovery
  • Interseeding legumes as an alternative nitrogen source
  • Establishing a perennial field buffer around a crop area
  • Establishing silvopasture
  • Amending pasture soil with biochar or gypsum

The practices will be tailored to each partner-producer’s farm and farm management goals. The implementation of these practices will be evaluated by Extension staff over a four-year period. Implementation costs will be subsidized by the project’s budget.

More details about partner-producer and Extension roles can be found on the Grasslands Partnership’s website. The deadline to fill out the interest form is June 30.

This research project is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. In addition to Indiana, eight other states are involved: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

“Participating in the Grasslands Partnership on-farm project is a great opportunity to be part of a dynamic and inquisitive team in the ‘tall fescue belt’ region of the country,” said Keith Johnson, Purdue professor of agronomy and Extension forage specialist.

Source : purdue.edu

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