Texas Tech Research Farm Field Day Focuses on Forages

The future of forages is the theme of a special half-day program Monday (June 9) at the Texas Tech University Research Farm in New Deal.

CASNRThe future of forages is the theme of a special half-day program Monday (June 9) at the Texas Tech University Research Farm in New Deal. The program starts at 9 a.m. and ends at noon at the facility, located just east of New Deal on FM 1729. Important Cropland. "This region was once a vast grassland, but with the water from the Ogallala it became one of the most important cropland areas in the United States," said Vivien Allen, a Texas Tech Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages. "With today's economic and environmental concerns we are once again looking to grasslands for solutions for many of the challenges we face." New technologies, equipment, plant and animal genetics, and production strategies are emerging every day. Combine this with changes in markets - both domestically and internationally - and the challenges of today's agriculture are unlike anything faced in decades. Forage Experts. The Texas Tech program, which is part of the "Pioneers in Agriculture Series," features top-flight forage experts from across the nation. Garry Lacefield, an extension forage specialist with the University of Kentucky, will discuss legumes and how to manage them, while Twain Butler, a researcher with the Noble Foundation's Forage Improvement Division, will focus on herbicide challenges when legumes are included. Yellow Sweetclover. Round-up ready alfalfa and other forage questions will be reviewed by Dennis Gehler, a product manager for Croplan Genetics/Land O'Lakes, while a talk on interseeding alfalfa, sainfoin, and yellow sweetclover into old world bluestems will be presented by Song Cui, a graduate student in Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science. Annuals for grazing and no-till crop production will be presented by Allen, while Yue Li, a graduate student in Texas Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science, will review allelopathic concerns with small grains. Cool-season perennial grass options will be the focus of Andy Hopkins, a forage grass breeder with the Noble Foundation in Oklahoma. Continuous Cropping. Continuous cropping with cotton and sorghum will be discussed by Allen, while Veronica Acosta-Martinez, a researcher with the USDA-ARS Plant Stress and Water Conservation Lab, will review soil microbes, carbon and nitrogen. Dan Undersander, a forage specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will discuss sorghum and other silages and forage quality. Finally, in the area of perennial warm-season grasses, Rick Kellison, project director with the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation, will talk about natives and introduced grasses, while Butler will review weed control in pastures. The Texas Tech University Research Farm is located 24 miles from Lubbock. To reach the farm location from I-27 North take Exit 14 at New Deal and turn East onto FM 1729. From there travel 6.4 miles east on FM 1729 and turn right into the Texas Tech Agricultural Sciences Teaching and Research Laboratory facility. CONTACT: Vivien Allen, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-1625 or vivien.allen@ttu.edu