Forage production and management and feeding forages to livestock will be main topics at the 26th annual Minnesota Forage Conference, at the Holiday Inn, in Detroit Lakes, Jan. 9 and 10.

The conference will include separate programs for farmers, small acreage owners and consultants. Participants can attend one, two or all three programs.

A workshop for small acreage owners will be Jan. 9, from 6 to 10 p.m. It will cover pasture management, thistle and weed control and high tensile fencing during a general session. There also will be concurrent sessions on buffalo and elk, hay and pasture for horses and beef cattle on small acreages.

The program for forage and livestock producers farming larger acreages will be Jan. 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Neal Martin, director of the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, in Wisconsin, will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss opportunities to expand forage production and sue in Minnesota. Other general session topics will be MPCA feedlot rules, manure and nutrient management and genetic engineering in alfalfa.

In the afternoon of Jan. 10, there will be concurrent sessions on hay, beef and dairy topics, and participants can move among the sessions. The hay session will cover forage preservatives and additives, alfalfa harvest alert programs, hay for the horse market, MnDOT hay transportation regulations and hay production economics. The beef session will cover feeding to meet reproductive goals, alternative forages for northwest Minnesota, optimizing production from beef pastures and matching beef genetics with forages. The dairy session will cover silage storage methods, corn silage, total mixed rations and dairy cattle grazing.

There will be a Forage Crop Production Workshop, Jan. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This workshop is designed for forage crop advisors, agribusiness agronomists, agency personnel, educators and anyone else seeking an advanced educational program in forages. Five continuing education credits will be available to Certified Crop Advisors. Topics will be genetic engineering in alfalfa, micro-nutrients for alfalfa, alfalfa harvest alert programs, alternative forage and forage insects.

A trade show, with commercial forage product exhibits, will run Jan. 9 during the evening and all day Jan. 10.

Participants can register in advance or at the door. For further information or to request a program, call the Minnesota Forage and Grassland Council, at 651-436-3930.


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