Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Missouri Grazing Dairy Farms to Host National Meeting

Source: University of Missouri Pasture Based Dairies

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The latest in dairy farming from the farm to the international view will be told at the Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference, July 6-8, at Joplin, Mo.

The program will be in the Holiday Inn Conference Center the first and third days. On the middle day, July 7, bus tours will go to grazing dairy farms in Southwest Missouri.

The conference held every two years brings dairy producers from across the nation and the world. Primary emphasis is on Midwest grazing.

"Most all topics will apply across the country," said Tony Rickard, MU Extension dairy specialist, Cassville, Mo. "We're not just talking about the fescue belt."

In the opening session, Jay Waldvogel, vice president, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), will give a global view: "Where Grazing Dairies Fit In."

That afternoon, Rickard will talk to local users. He will describe "Hybrid Systems-How to Bring Grass into High Production System.

"We're finding that producers with high performance herds on mixed rations are finding ways to use both winter and summer-annual grazing. That lowers feed costs by 85 cents to a dollar per head per day."

Other topics that afternoon include "Environmental and Regulatory Issues," "Milk Quality on Pasture," "Heifer Raising, Grazing Systems" and "Using the Grazing Wedge." Those topics will be by Missouri speakers.

Managing Pasture-based Systems in Hot Climates," "Mob Grazing," and "Once-a-Day Milking" will be discussed by speakers from afar, including New Zealand.

Buses will go to Meier Dairy, Monett, Mo., Wentworth Dairies, Pierce City, Mo., and Mariposa Dairies, Pierce City, Mo.

The third morning features speakers at the Convention Center.

Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage specialist, Columbia, and Dennis Hancock, forage specialist, University of Georgia, will start the program. Their topic: "Planning Forage-Agronomy Systems."

Paul Rapnicki, University of Minnesota, will talk on "Low-stress Dairy Handling." Joe Horner, MU Extension dairy economist, will tell "Key Drivers of Profitability on Pasture-based Dairies."

Randy Mooney, dairy grazier, Rogersville, Mo., and chairman of the DFA board, will give a closing summary.

Mooney was an early adopter of managed grazing, Rickard said. He went from using temporary fences and hauling water to installing permanent electric fences and trenching in water lines.

After lunch the last day, attendees can visit other Missouri grazing dairies on their way home. Maps will be given to those who sign up.

Registration for the three-day event is $150 per person until June 20. Late registrations will add $25. Discounts for spouses and other members from the same farm are available. Early registration is encouraged.

Presentations from the grazing conference will be available free on the website or in a bound book for $25 after the event.

Details and registration forms are available at http://agebb.missouri.edu/dairy/grazing/conference/index.htm For more information, call Ryan Milhollin: (573) 882-0668 or MilhollinR@missouri.edu.

University of Missouri Pastured Based Dairies was a Missouri State SARE Professional Development Program activity for 2 years. For more information, contact Debi Kelly at KellyD@missouri.edu.

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