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Summer Field Day held at Haz-Broy Farms

Fri, Jul 26th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Features

Roger Bradley, of Lanesboro, Minn. and his son, Joey, view different grasses at the Summer Field Day. Photo by Barb Jeffers

The Southeast Minnesota Forage Council (SMFC) along with the Midwest Forage Association held a Summer Field Day on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at Haz-Broy Farms near Lanesboro, Minn. Owners of the farm, Brian and Judy Hazel, were gracious enough to host the event.

Jim Paulson, extension agronomist with the University of Minnesota and also a Peterson, Minn. native, gave a Small Plot Demonstration. There were five cool season grasses and alfalfa-grass mixtures. The plots included tall fescue, meadow fescue, orchard, smooth brome and meadow brome.

Paulson said “The purpose of the event is to educate south east Minnesota farmers and affiliated business people about timely topics related to forages. It gives us a chance to show work we might be doing with research plots, talk about topics related to profitable growing and feeding forage crops and a time to interact with other producers,” and added, “I think we can all learn from each other.”

According to University of Minnesota handouts on Emergency Forage Plantings (available on at www.uwex.edu), “Perennial forage crops are the foundation of ruminant livestock feeding programs in the North Central USA.” It continues, “Unfortunately, because of the harshness of the region’s climate, perennial forage crop, and particularly alfalfa, occasionally winterkill, leaving the producer faced with an immediate loss in supply of high quality forage,” which is why an event such as this is important in order to learn how to get the best quality and most forage possible.

Paulson stated that Meadow Fescue is a “good grass” and is “quite hardy,” adding that it “excels in nutrient content” as well. As for Tall Fescue, a lot of which were developed in Europe, Jim said that it “yields good” and that the “forage quality has greatly improved” over time. Paulson spoke about Smooth Brome Grass saying that he is “a big fan” of this variety.

Roger Bradley, of Lanesboro, Minn., and his son Joey, age 12, were viewing the grasses at the plot demonstration along with many others. Roger stated he was interested in coming to the Summer Field Day to see what the plots are all about which was the reason many attended.

Paulson said that if a person is establishing grasses he would recommend one of the fescue grasses with alfalfa and added probably half meadow fescue and half tall fescue. The plots were cut to emulate rotational grazing to see how it goes. Paulson said, “Long term if we are going to feed people we need to find ways to co-exist.” This is part of the reason for the Summer Field Day.

Additional speakers and events took place at the Field Day including a presentation on corn silage rations and nutrition strategies by Chad Kieffer of Benson Farm Service, LLC, of Lewiston, Minn. A list of Must Do’s given by Chad was :

•Pull forage samples routinely

•Test for NDF Digestibility on forages

•Test for Starch Digestibility on corn silage and corn

•Check moistures often

•Use TMR Tracking Software

•Keep weighback feed to a minimum (less than 2 percent)

•Know your cost of production and IOFC.

A discussion was held on Emergency Feeding Options by Paulson and also included a producer panel with Brian Hazel, Rick Alberts, and Chad Kieffer. Many questions from the audience were answered during the panel discussion on how to deal with the feed shortage.

A hearty meal was served consisting of rib-eye steak sandwiches cooked by the Fillmore County Cattlemen’s Association, with beans, chips, cookies, milk, chocolate milk, and water served by Linda Hazel of Haz-Broy Farms and Paul Hamann of Fountain, Minn. Gary Redalen, who was grilling the rib-eyes on an evening that was over 90 degrees and humid, did a great job cooking the steaks to perfection. Gary said that the Summer Field Day is a “good event” and said “you can always pick up ideas” of how to make improvements.

Chelsea Russell, of the Midwest Forage Association, who helped coordinate the event was on hand greeting visitors and taking registrations. Chelsea stated, “The Southeast Minnesota Forage Council is our largest affiliate so I help with meetings” and she also coordinates events, and does fundraising among other tasks.

Sponsors of the Summer Field Day were AgStar Financial Services, Albert Lea Seed House, Byron Seeds, Hammell Equipment, Marzolf Equipment, Minnesota Ag Group, Preston Equipment, SEMA Equipment, St. Joseph Equipment, All American Co-op, Farm County Co-op, Greenway Co-op Services, Minnesota Dairy Initiatives, SE Region and Vern’s MFG.

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