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MU FSRC field day at Linneus set for Aug. 3

Missouri

The University of Missouri Forage Systems Research Center will hold its first field day in 10 years on Aug. 3.

"We want to give the public a better idea of our projects and research," said Dave Davis, FSRC superintendent. "This is an opportunity for producers in the region to talk to MU specialists who are in high demand throughout the year."

After registration at 8:30 a.m., the field day program will highlight forage advancements, beef research and a walking tour led by forestry, weather and wildlife specialists.

Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage specialist, will tell why producers with fall-calving cow herds should wait to wean calves until the summer.

"His research indicates that instead of weaning fall-born calves in April it could be to the producer's advantage to use the spring flush of grass until June or July," Davis said. "The numbers indicate that late weaning could boost profits."

Fescue endophyte control will be discussed by Craig Roberts, MU Extension forage specialist. He will explain how the fescue fungus should be managed to protect herds.

"He'll talk about the spring 'fescue problem' and discuss how to manage the toxins created by the endophyte," Davis said. "If we just persuade a few growers to adopt what we are learning it will be worthwhile for years to come."

Dale Blevins, MU plant scientist, will wrap up the forage tour with ways to mitigate grass tetany. Tetany, a condition in grass where nutrient uptake is limited, can cause serious problems, even death, in cattle.

"When soil phosphorous is low, magnesium uptake drops in plants. This can lower blood magnesium levels, causing cows to become immobile," Davis said. "We had this occur at the farm a few years ago." Blevins will tell what he learned about leaf sodium content after the Easter Freeze in 2007.

Topics on the beef tour range from storage of co-product feeds to efficient feeding and nutrition. Chris Zumbrunnen, MU Extension regional livestock specialist, will tell how to reduce problems in stored distillers grain. He'll talk about both dried and wet products.

Bob Weaber, MU Extension beef geneticist, and Justin Sexten, MU beef nutritionist, will tell how to add value to calves by feeding and backgrounding.

"Weaber and Sexten have projects ranging from heifer development to backgrounding and even finishing steers," Davis said.

The final leg of the field day before lunch will be a walking tour of the grounds. A wildlife specialist will tell of a nondestructive way to manage starlings. "Any time you feed livestock you have birds that can become pests. Through managed intensive grazing the pests are less apt to have nesting success," Davis said. "Our research shows progress."

The tours end with a lunch sponsored by agricultural vendors who will also have more than a dozen displays on-site. Grilled burgers from beef raised at FSRC are on the menu.

For information and directions to the farm in Linn County, northeast of Brookfield, Mo., see http://www.aes.missouri.edu/fsrc.



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