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Published November 12, 2010, 12:00 AM

Dickinson REC to sponsor forage planning workshop

A 12-month pasture and harvested forage management planning workshop designed for livestock producers, land managers and natural resource students will be held Jan. 4-6 at the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center.

A 12-month pasture and harvested forage management planning workshop designed for livestock producers, land managers and natural resource students will be held Jan. 4-6 at the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center.

The red office building is on the corner of State Avenue and Empire Road in Dickinson.

The workshop is from 1 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 4, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 5 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 6.

The workshop instructors are Lee Manske, NDSU range scientist at the Dickinson center, and Toby Stroh, Dickinson State University assistant professor of agriculture and ArcGIS instructor.

The workshop will address the persistent problems in livestock agriculture of high production costs and low profit margins resulting from the asymmetrical mismatch between the quantity of forage nutrients required by modern, high-performance cattle and the quantity of forage nutrients provided from traditional forage management practices. This mismatch causes cattle performance and land resource productivity to be at less than potential levels.

During the workshop, each participant will learn how to develop and properly operate a biologically effective management strategy with twice-over rotation grazing on summer pastures in conjunction with a complete 12-month complementary pasture and harvested forage sequence specific for his or her ranch.

Information related to the workshop material is available at www.GrazingHandbook.com.

To design pasture and harvested forage management strategies specific to individual ranches, maps with each pasture and field for the entire land holdings, including owned and leased land, need to be made, and acreages of each soil type in each parcel of land need to be calculated prior to the start of the workshop.

This information can be developed by using two methods. The first method is having each participant prepare from aerial photographs a complete set of land holdings maps with calculated acreage for each pasture and parcel of land and acreages of forage type and soil type within each parcel. Instructions for this method are available using the Grazing Handbook at www.GrazingHandbook.com. Go to the third red button and then to Pages 2-6.

The second method for development of ranch land holdings maps is to have the information compiled electronically by a crew of ArcGIS mapping specialists.

There is a lab fee of $25 per person to cover the costs of supplies, refreshments and a working supper on the second day. A three-volume set of textbooks is available at the printers’ cost of $75. The optional, but highly recommended, ArcGIS map set is $75 per ranch. An option for professional development with one or two graduate credits for this continuing education course is available from NDSU at a cost of $50 per credit. Participants will supply their own calculators, notebooks, lodging, transportation and most meals.

Registration is limited to 20 ranches and is open between now and the start of the workshop. Participants requesting ArcGIS maps to be developed for their ranch must register before Dec. 7. For workshop information or to register, call Manske at (701) 483-2348, ext. 118, or e-mail him at llewellyn.manske@ndsu.edu.

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