HARRISON -- Arkansas ranches devastated by drought will not only have to rebuild herds, but also the very pastures on which those cattle feed.
"The 2012 drought caused significant pasture damage and virtually all the clover died," said John Jennings, professor-forage, for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. "Renovating pastures by replanting legumes will improve pasture quality and livestock production."
Improving pastures will be the focus of a conference Feb. 19 at the Durand Center, 303 N. Main, Harrison, on the center campus of North Arkansas College. The conference begins at 5 p.m. with registration. Dinner and the program begin at 5:50 p.m.
Conference registration is $10 per person and includes dinner and conference materials. All persons interested in forages are invited to attend. Pre-registration is not required, but calling in by Feb.15 will help with planning meals and materials. For more information on the conference or to pre-register, contact your county extension office or call 501-671-2171.
The conference will feature current Arkansas research on options for establishing legumes. In some cases pastures may need to be converted to other forages.
"Native warm season grasses such as bluestem and switchgrass may be an option if used properly," Jennings said.
The featured speaker, Dr. Gary Bates, University of Tennessee Extension Forage Specialist, will discuss preparing fields for clover replanting and will sort out facts and myths about using native warm season grasses for forage.
"Dr. Bates was instrumental in development of Alfagraze alfalfa and he has done extensive work on native warm season grasses in Tennessee," Jennings said.
Other topics on the conference include up-to-date Arkansas research on use of no-till vs. broadcast planting, effect of grazing before and after clover seeding, planting clover and alfalfa in bermudagrass for stocker calves, and strip-seeding clover to establish stands in difficult pastures.
The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.