Even though 2010 was one of Arkansas’ worst forage production years in decades, some producers were able to expand their grazing season until the end of December. How did they do that when grass refused to grow? Learn how on May 6 during the 2011 Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council’s Spring Forage Bus Tour.

Tour registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Arkansas State University-Beebe farm and buses depart at 9:30 for the first farm. Registration is $35 per person and $10 for spouses and students and includes lunch, tour handout materials and membership in the state council plus affiliate membership in the American Forage and Grassland Council.

“Developing a longer grazing season need not be difficult or expensive,” says John Jennings, University of Arkansas Extension forage specialist. “Many producers already have the forage production skills needed to feed their herds, but a large part is harvested as hay. That means they only need to rethink how to get the cows to graze more and avoid investing in the cost of harvesting it for hay.”

Jennings says each of the three farms on the tour has different levels of experience with improving grazing management. The producers will describe their experiences with the forage and grazing practices that have worked well and those that haven’t. Other speakers will discuss specific forage management practices on each farm and how to implement them in a season-long grazing system.

Tour participants will see two fencing systems, stockpiling forages, strip and rotational grazing, fenceline weaning and a farm that is converting from a feeder to grazing operation.

For more information, call Jennings at 501-671-2350.