This 1960s Gravely plot harvester, above, can finally be replaced in yield-trial and other forage research at the University of Georgia. Private funding helped buy a newer model harvester.
Thanks to donations from organizations, businesses and individual producers, University of Georgia (UGA) Extension’s forage team will soon get an updated harvester to be used in forage research projects.
As eHay Weekly reported in its Feb. 26 edition, UGA needed to replace an existing harvester, built in the 1960s. Dennis Hancock, UGA forage specialist, had found a newer model for sale from the University of Missouri.
One problem: The equipment cost $40,000. Due to state-university budget constraints, Hancock only had $35,000 available through traditional, public-funding sources.
To close the $5,000 gap, Hancock put out an appeal for donations. “We’ve reached the point where federal and state tax dollars for research are getting harder and harder to come by,” he said at the time. “Unlike some other segments of agriculture, forage crops do not have a commodity commission or check-off support system. That means companies and individuals who benefit directly from this kind of research are going to have to step up and provide more of the funding.”
In little more than a month’s time, UGA raised the needed amount. To learn more about who contributed, click here.
Hancock says it was “especially gratifying” to see the names of three cattle and forage producers on the list. “It’s really encouraging for us when we have producers who are willing to go above and beyond what they already pay with their tax dollars in supporting this kind of effort.”
The new equipment should be in Georgia by late May, he says. “We’ll be able to use it with some of our summer hay and pasture forage research work. But it will really help us out when we get into our grazing trials this fall. The machine is very well-suited for use on some of the steeper slopes that we have in our pastures.”
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