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About Focus on Forage
Focus on Forage is a FREE, 4-part webinar series highlighting research-based information and farmer strategies to optimize forage yield, quality, and profitability in Wisconsin. Webinar speakers will include forage industry experts, UW–Madison Specialists, and Extension Educators. Certified Crop Advisor CEUs and ARPAS credits are available for each webinar.
The 2024 Focus on Forage series is from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 and Wednesdays, Feb. 28, March 6, and March 20.
Upcoming Topics – Click Expanders Below for More Information
- February 22, 2024: Focus on Forage Insurance
- February 28, 2024: Focus on Alfalfa
- March 6, 2024: Focus on Annual Forages
- March 20, 2024: Focus on Pastures
1.0 Crop Management CEUs; 1.0 ARPAS credit
Risk Management Products for Wisconsin Forage Production | Pamela Stahlke, USDA RMA
Learn about federal crop insurance tools available to manage production risk for Wisconsin forage growers. Which Wisconsin forage crops are eligible for production insurance? What is unique about crop insurance for forage production compared to grain production?
Decision-Making Strategies with Forage Insurance for Wisconsin Farms | Dr. Paul Mitchell, University of Wisconsin
During the 2022 crop year, over 90% of Wisconsin corn, soybean, and potato production acres were covered by federal crop insurance. While forage crop production acres follow only corn and soybean in total managed acres in Wisconsin, less than 20% of these acres were covered by federal crop insurance. Why is forage insurance being utilized at such a low rate in Wisconsin? What type of forage systems benefit by reduced production risk from purchasing federal crop insurance?
0.5 Crop Management, 0.5 IPM CEUs; 1.0 ARPAS credit
Alfalfa Management Following 2023 Drought | Scott Newell, University of Wisconsin
Looking forward from the 2023 drought into the 2024 growing season, what is the general outlook for new seeded and established alfalfa stands? What should and shouldn’t be of concern, and what management practices can you employ to mitigate these challenges?
Replanting Failed Stands: Alfalfa Autotoxicity | Dr. Kim Cassida, Michigan State University
The presentation will cover the effect of autotoxicity in alfalfa, the level of risk associated with replanting failed stands that were seeding during the drought of 2023 and ongoing research into the causes of autotoxicity, as well as the potential for a bioassay to assess potential damages in the future.
Herbicide Carryover in Alfalfa Establishment | Dr. Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin
With the drought that occurred in 2023 across the Upper Midwest, there is concern that many herbicides commonly used in corn and soybean to control resistant weeds will not have sufficiently broken down, leading to an increased chance of damage to alfalfa establishment. Some of the major active ingredients that can cause damage, the reason for an increased concern following drought and a strategy to run a bioassay on sampled soils in fields of potential concern will be discussed, as well as potential mitigation strategies.
Potato Leafhopper Management in Alfalfa | Dr. Emily Bick, University of Wisconsin
A presentation on the management of potato leafhopper in the state of Wisconsin including results from work done in the state in 2023 surrounding control of this pest in the novel corn-alfalfa interseeding system.
0.5 Nutrient Management, 0.5 Crop Management CEUs; 1.0 ARPAS credit
Annual Forage Options for WI | Dr. Marta Kohmann, University of Wisconsin
Numerous annual forage crops can be a good fit for the Wisconsin dairy farm and provide a good alternative to mainstay forage crops such as alfalfa and corn silage. We will present topics covering the management of warm-season annuals including pearl millet and sorghum/sorghum-sudan grass, as well as cool-season annual options such as oats, wheat, rye, and triticale. The agronomic benefits of these forages for various scenarios will be covered, with special consideration given to following a spring-terminated alfalfa field following drought or following cover crops.
Feeding Alternative Forages to Dairy Cattle | Dr. Luiz Ferraretto, University of Wisconsin
This presentation will discuss the nutritive value of annual forage alternatives (triticale, ryegrass, cereal rye, cocktail mix forages) and feeding strategies on the dairy farm.
Nitrogen Demand of Winter Cereal Forages in WI | John Jones, University of Wisconsin
The increasing use of alternative forages in Wisconsin has highlighted the need to know how much nitrogen these crops require. Ongoing research in Wisconsin is examining the yield and quality response of forage triticale and cereal rye to nitrogen fertilization across the state. This short presentation will summarize the previous two years of on-farm research across the state, highlighting soil and crop considerations for profitable fertilization decisions when growing winter cereals.
Nitrogen Considerations for 2024 – Carryover and Rate Planning Chris Bandura, University of Wisconsin
Most of WI experienced abnormally dry conditions throughout the 2023 growing and harvest seasons, leaving soil moisture status relatively low compared to normal. This poses an increased likelihood for elevated soil nitrate levels in the soil profile leading into the 2024 growing season. This presentation will discuss reasons as to why N carryover might be likely this spring, how we can measure carryover in the field, and what do with those measurements as we plan this years N rate strategy. Environmental, economic, and agronomic considerations will be discussed.
1.0 Crop Management CEUs; 1.0 ARPAS credit
Improving the Production Potential of Pastures | Jason Cavadini, University of Wisconsin
Every grazing operation should aim to maximize the grazing season as much as possible because stored feeds are the greatest profit reducer in livestock production. There are many ways to maximize the grazing season, but the perennial forage base is the most economical, and should always be the starting point. Farmers who get the most out of their perennial pastures choose an appropriate stocking rate from the start, implement the three main principles (rotation, rest, residual) of managed grazing, and stockpile forages for fall grazing. This discussion will describe how these things can take pasture production to the next level.
Managing The Summer Slump | Steve Okonek, University of Wisconsin
Extending the grazing season by managing limited summer pastures. This topic will encompass utilizing proper grazing management to minimize the impact of hot, dry weather that occurs in Wisconsin in July and August. A discussion of summer annuals to bridge the gap in production of perennial forages will also occur.
Pasture Species Mixes for Climate Resilience| Dr. Marta Kohmann, University of Wisconsin
Choice of species is a crucial component of successful pasture management in Wisconsin. Grass-legume mixtures are commonly used particularly in grazing systems, with benefits to forage production, nutritive value, and animal performance. However, growing multiple species also adds complexity to our management decisions. In this seminar, we will address the main aspects to consider for long-term persistent and productive pastures of the Midwest.
Establishment Success of Forages in Renovated Forests for Silvopasture | Stefania Cartoni-Casamitjana, University of Wisconsin
Converting unmanaged woodlands that have been invaded by shrubs to silvopasture increases profitability of farms while benefiting animal health. To successfully establish forage in wooded areas, the pre-existing forest understory needs to be managed. In this trial, herbaceous vegetation was controlled with a herbicide before four different forage species mixes were planted. Establishment success of each species was compared to a control that wasn’t treated with herbicide.