WVU Extension Service hosts agriculture dinner assembly
WEST MILFORD, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia University Extension Service hosted an educational dinner meeting on Tuesday on bale grazing at the West Milford Community Center.
WVU Extension Service said it brings education, know-how, and research right into the communities around the region through a series of educational dinner meetings. During the dinner, a presenter spoke about changing hay feeding systems that will allow farmers to cut their labor and tractor time in half through a Bale grazing hay feeding system.
For those unaware, bale grazing is where hay is set out on pasture in good weather and both fed and controlled with temporary electric fencing, similar to rotational grazing.
“So, bale grazing is kind of a newer concept, basically farmers put out round bales and then gradually give those round bales to their livestock, whether it be cattle, sheep, goats, horses, works with pretty much any type of livestock,” said Jennifer Friend, WVU Harrison County Extention Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “It is a way that they don’t have to get the tractor out every day and with diesel prices, that’s a really great thing to be able to do, and not have to be constantly getting the tractor out, as well as with muddy seasons that we are having this year they don’t have to muddy up and get ruts in their fields.”
WVU Extension Service explained that bale grazing can cut a farmer’s tractor and labor time by half or more and can create lush, well-fertilized pastures without spending any money on commercial fertilizers.
The presenter, the University of Kentucky Agricultural Economist Greg Halich has been bale grazing on his personal farm for the last 10 years and has worked with other cattle farms for the last six years to help them implement bale grazing. Halich works with many farmers to help improve profitability on livestock and grain farms.
“If you try and do it without people helping you, like myself, make sure you don’t go high density. So, two tons of hay to the acres at most,” Halich said. “Basically, it is the rotation of grazing of round bales.”
Officials with the Extension Service said the current production focus areas related to livestock are determining the most profitable hay-feeding days for individual farms, bale grazing, biological farming techniques that reduce or eliminate the need for commercial fertilizers, reducing hay production costs, and extended season grazing systems.