Missouri Department of Conservation partners invite cattle producers to learn about native grasses in Patton

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Cattle producers are invited to learn about wildlife native grass habitat benefits and how pastures provide grazing benefits for livestock during Native Warm Season Grass Pasture Tour set for 6 – 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at Charlie Besher’s Farm in Patton.

Cattle producers are invited to learn about wildlife native grass habitat benefits and how pastures provide grazing benefits for livestock during Native Warm Season Grass Pasture Tour set for 6 – 8 p.m. Aug. 3 at Charlie Besher’s Farm in Patton.

The free workshop is a combined effort of the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, the Missouri Forage & Grassland Council, and MFA.

Workshop capacity is limited to 100 people, and lunch will be provided. Registration can be completed online here.

Among the featured speakers at the Aug. 3 event are:

• Dale Strickler, an agronomist for Green Cover Seed, which is the nation’s leading cover crop seed company

• Ray Archuleta, a retired conservation agronomist from the NRCS East National Technology Center in Greensboro, N.C. He will provide instruction on soil health and agro-ecology at events throughout the country.

• Doug Peterson, a NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist for Missouri and Iowa. Peterson has been with NRCS since 1987 and previously served as Missouri’s soil health conservationist for three years.

Experts will explain how quality soils are at the foundations of native warm-season grass pastures. The event will also include in-field observations and discussions of how these principles are utilized on a working cattle farm.

An increasing number of cattle producers are rediscovering the benefits of native warm-season grasses. Adding warm-season grass areas to a grazing system that already features cool-season grass creates a forage system that allows livestock owners to keep their herds feeding on high quality forage for a longer period.

There are benefits for wildlife, too. Warm-season grasses begin growth later in the year and are not ready to be grazed or hayed until late summer. By then, most of the ground-nesting wildlife that need these plants for habitats have hatched their broods.

Charlie Besher’s Farm is located at RR 5 Box 2402 in Patton, near Meadow Heights School.

For more information regarding the workshop, contact MFA Conservation Grazing Specialist Landry Jones at (573) 808-7094. More information about using warm-season grasses in a livestock grazing operation can be found at mdc.mo.gov.