Forage specie selection and animal preference, forage fertility and weed control, hay preservatives and USDA/NRCS programs will be the mainstay of the July 21 Illinois Forage Expo’s educational program.

Field demonstrations of forage harvesting equipment and commercial displays of forage-related products and equipment will also be a part of the expo. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Law-Rae Dairy Farm, Manteno.

Operated by Dave Surprenant, the grazing-based operation currently milks 150 cows and utilizes 40 four-acre paddocks of intensively grazed grass-clover pastures under irrigation.

The expo also boasts a Quality Hay & Haylage Contest, available for producers to enter 2010-harvested bales and haylage. Contest entries must be delivered on site between 9 and 10 am. There is no contest entry fee and NIRS analysis will be provided free of charge.

Bales weighing more than 100 lbs will need an official scale weigh ticket. One haylage and four hay classes will be available and class winners will receive certificates. For more information on the contest, contact Greg Clark at 815-772-4075 or gmclark@illinois.edu.