(Morrisville, NY – Feb. 2013) What nutrients are your grazing animals getting out of their hay? How much is your animal really benefiting from your pastures? How can you utilize your pasture space to get the most out of it?

These are questions that are on the minds of many equine and livestock owners. Grazing animals gain a certain amount of essential nutrients each day either through the hay they are fed or the grasses on which they graze.

In determining exactly how much nutrient grazing animals are getting from these kinds of food sources is important when determining a feeding program that will produce the best results. Furthermore, grazing management is a key skill in order to use pastures to their fullest potential without overgrazing the land.

To provide more information on all these issues, the Cornell Cooperative Extension is hosting a Forage and Grazing Management Seminar Saturday, March 30, at the Morrisville Equine Rehabilitation Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Professor Carol Buckhout from Cazenovia College will talk to participants about the basic digestive anatomy of a grazing animal and how that relates to why forages are an important component to a grazing animals diet. She will also discuss specific nutrients hay and pastures can provide, and the nutritional differences between the different forage types.

Troy Bishopp, “The Grass Whisperer,” from Madison County Soil and Water Conservation, will discuss the essentials of grazing management, including how to make a grazing chart, fencing and paddock planning and the types of grasses and grass mixtures that work best for this region.

During this seminar, participants will also get a chance to practice taking a core sample and then walk through a forage analysis and learn how to interpret the results. Participants will also learn how to create a grazing management plan that will fit their farm’s needs. After this seminar, participants will leave with the tools necessary to manage their own herd’s grazing habits and nutritional program.

Between lectures, there will be an intermission where participants will enjoy a luncheon and a chance to chat with local agricultural businesses. Tours of the new Equine Rehabilitation Center will also be given for any interested participants.

Admission is $10; RSVPs are due by Friday, March 22. To register, visit reg.cce.cornell.edu/forageandgrazingseminar_225.

For more information contact Danielle Pidgeon at depidgeon@cazenovia.edu or (518) 683-0526 or Beth McKellips at bam233@cornell.edu or (315) 684-3001 ext. 126.

By martha

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