PFI To Hold Four Fall Pasture Walks

PFI To Hold Four Fall Pasture Walks

Pasture walks will showcase innovative grazing practices, cattle genetics, marketing strategies, winter grazing challenges and fescue toxicity as well as provide networking opportunities for graziers.

Practical Farmers of Iowa announces four pasture walks to be held in November and December 2011. The first walk is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m., hosted by Garth Lloyd of Cantril, Iowa, at his ranch just across the Iowa-Missouri border in Scotland County, Missouri.

The pasture walks will showcase innovative grazing practices, cattle genetics, marketing strategies, winter grazing challenges and fescue toxicity as well as provide networking opportunities for graziers.

Lloyd will lead a conversation about the benefits of high-density gazing, stockpile grazing and feeding hay in the winter month as he takes participants on a stroll through the gently rolling pastures of his ranch near the Iowa-Missouri border. Lloyd raises Red Angus seed stock, as a cooperative producer for Pharo Cattle Company, chickens, pigs and grass-finished beef.

2011 was challenging but high density grazing is what saved this cattleman

"This year has brought some of the biggest weather challenges we've seen since we started ranching and it's not over yet," explains Lloyd. "If we were grazing conventionally, we would have started feeding hay in July but because we are using high density grazing, we probably won't have to switch to hay until January. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences with others and getting advice from them in return. "

To get to Lloyd's pasture walk, take Hwy 2 in Milton. Go south for approximately eight miles on V56, which turns into 15 when you cross into Missouri. Turn left (east) on Hwy EE (the first blacktop road) and travel five miles. It will turn to gravel. Continue east even as the road forks to the south. From that fork, go about a mile. The farm will be the second house on the north side of the road. There is a sign at the driveway that says, "Triple L Angus."

This fall's lineup of pasture walks in other areas of Iowa also includes:

* Tuesday, November 15 from 1 to 3 p.m., hosted by Ryan and Eugene Herman of New Albin, Iowa in Allamakee County.

* Saturday, November 19 from 2 to 5 p.m. hosted by Jake and Amber Wheeler at Monroe, Iowa in Jasper County (Supper included).

* Saturday, December 3, 1 to 4 p.m. hosted by Bruce and Connie Carney who are located south of Maxwell, Iowa in Polk County.

All of the pasture walks are free and open to the public. For more information, call Kevin Dietzel at the Practical Farmers of Iowa office, 515.232.5661; email [email protected] or visit www.practicalfarmers.org/events.

Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables and more. For more information call 515.232.5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

2011 Fall Pasture Walk Lineup

* Thursday, November 10, 1 to 4 p.m: Host: Garth Lloyd, Rt. 1 Box 112

Cantril, IA 52542. Ranch is just across the Iowa-Missouri border in Scotland County, MO. Phone 660-945-3918 (H) and 660-216-0366 (C)

Discussion Topics: Benefits of high-density grazing, stockpile grazing, alternative ways to feed hay in winter, de-stocking vs. purchasing hay when grass is short. The Farm: Garth Lloyd raises Red Angus seed stock as a cooperative producer for Pharo Cattle Company. Lloyd also raises chickens, pigs and grass-finished beef. He practices high-density, year-round grazing and fall calving with their herd of 110 cow-calf pairs. He purchases all the hay he feeds.

 * Tuesday, November 15, 1 to 3 p.m: Hosts: Ryan and Eugene Herman, 1137 Pool Hill Drive, New Albin, Iowa 52160. Phone 507-459-2049.

Discussion Topics: Use of holistic planned grazing and fall rest periods, winter water, cattle genetics for year-long grazing, mob grazing to enhance grass density, when the snow is too deep, what then? Hay rings, unroll bales, bale grazing, other supplementation.

The Farm: Ryan and Gene Herman have 190 cow-calf pairs. All calves are grazed as yearlings and sold to a grass finishing program. The Hermans have not made any hay since 2005, relying instead on stockpiled pasture and purchased hay.

* Saturday, November 19, 2–5 p.m.: Supper provided. Hosts: Jake and Amber Wheeler, 939 Beardsley St., Monroe, Iowa 50170. Phone 515-689-1380.

Discussion Topics: Grazing stockpiled grass, grazing crop residues, cattle genetics--working from within the herd, building direct-market outlets, enterprise and marketing suggestions.

The Farm: The Wheelers own 160 acres; 80 are tillable. Of this tillable ground, 20 acres are planted to forage; the other 60 are farmed conventionally. They practice intensive rotational grazing, moving their herd from one to three moves a day. The herd is comprised of 20 cow-calf pairs, 10 yearling heifers, five two-year-old heifers and three home-raised bulls. They use chicken tractors to move portable pens for their pastured broiler chickens. Their children sell the eggs from their free-range layers.

* Saturday, December 3, 1–4 p.m.: Hosts: Bruce and Connie Carney, Carney Family Farms, 13602 NW 96th St., Maxwell, Iowa 50161. Phone 641-387-8769.

Discussion: Grazing stockpiled pastures, managing fescue toxicity, corn stalk grazing, taking inventory of stockpiled pasture to plan for fall and winter grazing.

The Farm: Bruce Carney uses a rotational grazing system for his 125 cow-calf herd and finishes some of the calves on-farm. During the fall and winter, Bruce grazes stockpiled pasture, crop residues and feeds hay if necessary. The Carneys sell their beef through a local locker and direct marketing.

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