Planting winter pastures this fall might not save livestock producers' bacon, but doing so certainly could help them save what hay they have if there's another drought next summer, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
It might be wise to have some hay on hand in time of drought.
"Normally, people plant winter pastures to defray winter feeding costs," says Dr. Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Overton. "But hay stocks are certainly not up to sufficient levels, and by reducing winter feeding, they can certainly hang onto more of the stocks they have."
To help producers do the best possible job of developing and utilizing winter pastures, Banta and his colleague, Dr. Vanessa Corriher, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton, will be conducting a short course, "Winter Pastures for Central and East Texas," from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 17, at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.
Registration for the program is $60 and includes lunch and program materials, and will be limited to the first 50 people who register. The program will offer attendees two continuing education units from the Texas Department of Agriculture for private pesticide applicator license holders. One of the CEUs will be in the integrated pest management category, and one CEU will be general.
You can register online for the short course, by going to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu and entering the keyword "pasture."
The program will answer a lot of questions people commonly have about establishing winter pastures, Banta says. Some issues addressed will include which species are best suited to a particular type of operation, how much money on feed costs they can expect to save, and how to interpret see-tag information and create a custom soil and production map for a farm from satellite data.
For more, call Michelle Sensing at 903-834-6191.