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Sowing success at the 2024 Spring Kentucky Beginning Grazing School

By Christopher Carney

The 2024 Spring Kentucky Beginning Grazing School, hosted by the University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, promises an immersive learning experience for livestock producers.  

This year's school, occurring April 30 and May 1 in Princeton, Kentucky, has undergone significant program updates, intensifying its focus on the crucial role of building and implementing a successful grazing management plan. The program aims to enhance profitability through a blend of hands-on activities and classroom instruction.  

The first day features in-class discussions at Central Presbyterian Church on soil fundamentals, rotational grazing techniques, optimizing nutritional balance on pasturelands, grazing arithmetic principles and a visit to a local grazing operation at Flynn’s Fork Farm. Attendees will learn about portable and seasonal water systems, strategies for assessing pasture productivity, determining optimal stocking rates and practical demonstrations for setting up small paddocks.  

Post-lunch sessions at the farm explore electric fencing for grazing control, offset strategies, soil and hay sampling, effective forage plant cultivation and grazing management strategies. The day culminates in discussions surrounding appropriate forage species selections to create a holistic grazing system.  

The second day continues with discussions on various fence types and associated costs, instructions on designing grazing systems, dispelling common grazing myths impacting profitability and revitalizing rundown farms.  

Activities conclude with a return to the research farm, allowing participants to observe and dissect the previous day's hands-on grazing exercise. Attendees can calibrate a grain drill and experiment with a user-friendly GPS unit designed to enhance seeding precision. 

Registration is open until April 28. Workshops kick off at 7:30 a.m. CST with refreshments and conclude at 5 p.m. The cost is $60 per participant. To register, purchase online at https://Spring2024GrazingSchool.eventbrite.com or in the UK Forageevents section at https://forages.ca.uky.edu/events

To register by mail, send a $60 payable to KFGC at the following address: UK Research and Education Center, attention Caroline Roper, PO Box 469, Princeton, KY 42445. Please specify "2024 Spring Grazing School" in the check memo line.  

Source : uky.edu

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