Controlling weeds, double-cropping forages, bale silage, equipment demonstrations and a hay quality contest will be offered at the Sept. 17 Purdue Forage Day near Cambridge City, IN.

Hosts will be Eric and Carrie Miles, who own a 320-acre farm intersecting Wayne, Fayette and Henry counties. The Miles have a cash-crop hay and beef cattle operation, custom harvest for area farmers and also sell straw.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. From 9 a.m. to noon, sessions will include:

  • Double Crop Forages and Cover Crops, by Greg Downing of the CISCO Cos., Dennis Brown of Byron Seed Supply and Keith Johnson, Purdue extension forage management specialist;
  • Weed Issues in Pasture, by Glenn Nice, Purdue weed scientist;
  • Bale Silage – Another Tool to Reduce Rain-Damaged Hay, by Jason Tower, Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center superintendent;
  • Soil Test Results in Hand – Now What Should be Done? by Jim Camberato, Purdue extension soil fertility specialist.

Lunch will be available for a nominal fee paid on site. At 1:15 p.m., mowers, tedders and rakes, balers, wrappers and other equipment will be demonstrated until designated fields are harvested and baled.

"This year it's been a challenge to make dry hay production throughout the season, particularly in southern Indiana," says Johnson, who coordinates the annual field day. "So one of the topics we'll focus on is making hay-crop silage from round bales.” Hay harvested at a high moisture content and wrapped as baleage can hold quality and allow the crop to be harvested in a more timely fashion than baling hay, he says.

To participate in the hay quality contest, growers must each bring an unbroken small rectangular bale of hay and enter it before 11 a.m. that day. Bales will be probed and results sent to producers a few weeks later. Certificates will be awarded by the Indiana Forage Council, and forage-related products will be provided by agribusinesses to winners of the legume, grass and mixed hays divisions.

"Entering a bale of hay into the contest is not just about who wins," Johnson says. "But it lets producers know how their hay stacks up against other hays in the region and in the state. This will determine how much hay and what supplements would need to be fed to get the proper nutrient profile, as well as provide some guidance for the asking price."

The Miles farm is located at 2990 Heacock Road in Cambridge City.

For more on the Purdue Forage Day contact Johnson at 765-494-4800 or johnsonk@purdue.edu.