Information on managing forages will be a big part of the 2011 Tri-State Dairy Conference, set for April 19 and 20 at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne, IN.

The 20th annual conference, presented by Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State universities, is designed to help dairy nutritionists, industry professionals and producers manage feeding programs.

“We’ve hosted this as a joint program for the last 20 years because we have outstanding researchers and resources at all three universities who can share the best management techniques with nutritionists,” says Maurice Eastridge, Ohio State Extension dairy specialist. “Those nutritionists can then go out and share the information with the farmers.”

“Milk prices are up, but so are grain and feed prices, which really presents a challenge for dairy producers,” adds Tamilee Nennich, Purdue Extension dairy specialist. “Improving nutrition management can help offset some of those costs.”

Forage management will be one of four themes.

“Stored forages and corn silage on dairy operations are lower quality due to last year’s challenging growing season,” Nennich says. “Conference talks will teach participants about grasses, forage quality and managing rations.”

The other themes will be dairy nutrition: past and future, feeding system management and management of transition cows.

The $165 registration per person includes meals, materials and conference proceedings. Discounted registration fees are available for organizations with groups of five or more. Attendees registering after April 8 will be charged an additional $30 fee.

Registration forms and more conference information are available online at http://tristatedairy.osu.edu/onlinereg.htm