The Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council will conduct its third-annual bus tour, “On the Road to Better Forages,” on Friday, April 23, featuring forages and conservation practices in the southwestern part of the state. The tour will begin and end at the University of Arkansas’ Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope.

“The bus tour has been very successful and well received by producers, so we are moving it around the state to highlight successful forage operations,” says Matt Flynt, forage council president.

It will include stops at:

  • A cow-calf operation using rotational grazing and stockpiled bermudagrass to reduce hay feeding to 60 days or less per year. The producer works to keep operating costs down, but maintains cattle nutrition and a high calving rate by maintaining a good seasonal forage program along with balanced supplementation.
  • A stocker calf operation using clover and ryegrass overseeded on bermudagrass as the forage base. Up to 14 pastures are rotationally grazed and each pasture has access to water tanks and a pipeline water system from a pond. Hay feeding is kept to a minimum by using the forage and grazing combination.

Effective forage management on blackland soil as well as conservation benefits of native grasses will be featured on other stops.

“Top ag economists are saying that forages are becoming more and more valuable for putting weight on calves before sale due to high grain prices,” says John Jennings, Extension animal scientist at the university. “This tour will focus on effective forage use in grazing systems and should have something of interest for anyone interested in forages.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and buses will depart at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided during the tour. The cost, $35 and $15 for spouses and students, includes membership in the Arkansas council, affiliate membership in the American Forage and Grassland Council and lunch. For more details, call Jennings at 501-671-2350.