A day-long program for hay and cattle producers featured Idaho experts on topics including management intensive grazing, hay preservatives, results of alfalfa variety trials for North Idaho, managing fertility in hay and pasture ground, weed control and economics. Just over 50 attendees enjoyed the refreshments, lunch and door prizes provided by local suppliers, including Boundary Tractor in Bonners Ferry, Pape Machinery in Ponderay, Carter Country in Bonners Ferry and Ponderay, and The Coop County Store in Ponderay. Links to the presentations are below. Additional links to resource material are available below as well.
Management Intensive Grazing
Chad Cheyney, retired UI Extension Educator, Butte County
An overview of the concepts and methods of Management Intensive Grazing, or MIG, is presented by the founder of the Lost Rivers Grazing Academy, a 4-day intensive workshop for livestock producers. MIG is defined as a flexible approach to rotational grazing management that balances forage supply with animal requirements in order to increase carrying capacity and productivity while improving pastures.
This presentation focuses on grass production, from physiology to thermodynamics to nutrient management through management intensive grazing. You will learn how rest periods affect production, and how to maximize grass production on your farm.
Performance of alfalfa varieties in dryland field trials as well as best management practices for small grains crop rotations including alfalfa production using glyphosate resistant varieties and non-resistant varieties are addressed.
North Idaho Alfalfa Variety Trial Entries and Results
Effects of chemicals as drying agents such as potassium carbonate applied at time of cutting or organic acids and/or sulfate salts and amylase enzymes applied as preservatives at time of baling on composition, digestibility, and utilization by livestock for grass and alfalfa (Medicage sativa L.) hays are discussed.
Uses and challenges of cover crops to enhance soil health, as an alternative forage, and as a part of a dryland direct seed cereal crop rotation will be discussed. The talk includes recent results of on-farm testing and field trials.
Learn how to take a soil test and intrepret the lab results in order to maximize fertility in your hay and pasture ground. Management of fertility is also addressed for organic producers using animal manures.
Current enterprise budgets for north Idaho crops that also include a grazing alternative will be presented. With today’s low grain prices, growing a rich cover crop mixture and grazing it may be competitive with other choices for your farm. Enterprise budgets include typical types and rates for fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides by crop for northern Idaho growers.
2016 Enterprise Budgets for:
Conventional Tillage Grain and Rotational Crops, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
Direct Seed Grain and Rotational Crops, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
Grass Hay in Northern Idaho, Small Square Bales, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
Alfalfa Hay in Northern Idaho, Small Square Bales, bulletin and Excel spreadsheet
The 2015 Forage School post includes additional presentations for North Idaho forage producers.
Additional Resources for Forage Producers:
A3637 Identifying Pasture Grasses
SARE website: Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations
SARE Handbook: Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition
PNW0614 Pasture and Grazing Management in the Pacific Northwest
PNW0627 Meadow Voles and Pocket Gophers: Management in Lawns, Gardens, and Cropland
BUL 901 Cover Crops for Grazing Use in Idaho
Intermountain Alfalfa Management, U of California, Publication 3366, 1997.