It’s All About The Forage!
Raising grass-based livestock seems easy enough. When pastures are growing, simply let them graze, and when it isn’t, feed them hay or haylage. Unfortunately, depending on how well the pastures are managed and what species are growing, your livestock may not be receiving the balanced diet necessary for good health. The same thing goes for baled hay and haylage. It can be a great source of nutrition or contribute to a deficiency that can manifest as health problems down the road.
To help ensure livestock receive adequate nutrition, it’s important to know how to assess – and improve – the quality of the forage provided to our grazing animals. Join us April 13, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th ST SE, Everett (inside McCollum Park) for a workshop on Forage Testing and Pasture Management with David Ridle, a forage specialist from Skagit Farm Supply, farmer, and longtime WSU Extension Livestock Advisor.
During the evening, you’ll learn about Forage Testing and how to use the results to balance livestock rations throughout the year. Both hay and haylage will be covered. Then, we’ll focus on the basics of Pasture Management including answers to common questions such as:
- Why is my pasture weedy?
- How many animals can I have on my pasture?
- When should I start feeding hay?
- Why is my pasture always short and take so long to improve?
You’ll learn about sustainable grazing strategies, methods to improve pastures and renovate them to help provide your animals with a balanced, high quality nutrition.
Our instructor, David Ridle, grew up on a Midwest grain and livestock farm. For the past 15 years, he’s been a forage specialist and agriculture products and services consultant for Skagit Farmers Supply. His expertise is in Western Washington-based forage management with a special focus on nutrition for optimum animal health. He studied at the University of Nebraska, graduating from Excelsior College as an agronomy major. A graduate of both WSU Extensions’ Cultivating Success and Livestock Advisor programs, Ridle has been working with livestock and forage for most of his life.