Farmers gather to discuss pastures

Authored by Jim Langham on Mar 15, 2013

Area farmers gathered at the Lehman Park Pavilion on Tuesday evening to listen to discussion and combine ideas for creating the healthiest pasture grazing land during this summer’s weather.
Those presenters assisting in the 2013 Indoor Pasture Walk included Jerry Perkins, Surviving the Drought; and Brad Kohlhagen, New Fertilizer Rules and PARP credits. There was also discussion on Animal Mortality Facilities and Animal Health to Human Health.
“We started meeting five years ago on a monthly basis during summer for people who had livestock in grazing,” said Katy Stoller, Conservative Technician for Soil and Water. “There was enough interest that we put together a winter meeting with speakers from outside the Adams County area.
“We emphasize how grazing and conservation come together for good pasture management,” continued Stoller. “We talk about how to get pastures going, how to have a rotation system and we go out for on-site discussions.”
Stoller said that when pastures are overgrazed and there is more bare soil, they are more subject to erosion and water contamination. She stated that part of the reason for Pasture Walks is to encourage individuals to get water into pastures and teach them how to utilize the St. Marys and Wabash watersheds.
County Conservation director Ryan Noblitt said that the goal is to create less erosion in pastures and learn how to do more nutrient loading.
“The key is to get more forage to hold nutrients in place so that they don’t reach the waters,” observed Noblitt.
Nathan Houk, also with Adams County Soil and Water, said that the Pasture Walk has occurred as a result of a partnership between Natural Resource Conservation Service, Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Adams County Soil and Water.
One point of interest for the event was the announcement that a seven foot no-till drill is available for rent through the Adams County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Those wish to rent the drill, which is available for $5 an acre, can phone 260-724-3763, Extension 3.

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