Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Thanks for the memories! May 2010-March 2020

Get the local dirt in our northwest corner • Regrowing in 2023!

Soils and Manure Tour Field Day coming up

Apr 4th, 2016 | Category: Community

Forage quality focus of April 13 workshop

Soil and manure will be the talk of the day during the “Discover Soils and Manure Tour Field Day” coming up Tuesday, April 26. Hosted by the Whatcom Conservation District and taking place at James Dairy in Custer, the public is invited to learn, tour, and receive free soil or manure tests.

David Ridle, a forage specialist from Skagit Farmers Supply, farmer, and longtime WSU Extension Livestock Advisor, will lead the workshop on Forage Testing and Pasture Management. COURTESY PHOTO

David Ridle, a forage specialist from Skagit Farmers Supply, farmer, and longtime WSU Extension Livestock Advisor, will lead the workshop on Forage Testing and Pasture Management. COURTESY PHOTO

The event is open to all Whatcom farmers, including dairy, livestock, grazing, berry, potato, crop, and more. The Field Day runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with registration starting at 9:45 a.m. and the manure tour  at 11:30 a.m.

Participants can visit stations including: Properties of soil types including demonstrations of what compaction looks like, which soils runoff and why, and how leaching happens; How to do the ARM assessment including taking soil tests; Interpretation of your soil and manure tests and how to do nutrient management (bring your soil and manure tests with you); and Flood, irrigation, and farming practice impacts on soils and how changes in climate will affect your soils over time

The Manure Tour will offer attendees a look at new technologies in manure management including separators, automatic scrapers, manure pump, lagoon safety, ditch covers, and more.

The first 50 registered participants get a coupon for a free soil or manure test. To sign up, visit www.whatcomcd.org  and follow the link under the Events section. For more information, contact Nichole M. Embertson, Ph.D. at Whatcom Conservation District at (360) 526-2381 x 126 or nembertson@whatcomcd.org. James Dairy is located at 8305 N Enterprise Road in Custer.

The event will also be held in Stanwood on May 3 at Visser Dairy. To register, contact the Snohomish Conservation District at (425) 335-5634.

 

It’s All About The Forage!

To help ensure livestock receive adequate nutrition, it’s important to know how to assess – and improve – the quality of the forage provided to grazing animals. When pastures are growing, the animals graze, and if not, they are fed hay or haylage. Depending on how well the pastures are managed and what species are growing, livestock may or may not be receiving the balanced diet necessary for good health.

On April 13, David Ridle, a forage specialist from Skagit Farmers Supply, farmer, and longtime WSU Extension Livestock Advisor, will lead a workshop on Forage Testing and Pasture Management. Participants will learn about Forage Testing and how to use the results to balance livestock rations throughout the year. Both hay and haylage will be covered. The basics of Pasture Management will also be discussed, including weedy pastures, the number of animals on pasture, when to begin feeding hay, and why pasture is short and takes longer to improve. In addition, sustainable grazing strategies, methods to improve pastures, and renovate them to help provide your animals with a balanced, high quality nutrition are also on the agenda.

Ridle grew up on a Midwest grain and livestock farm. For the past 15 years, he’s been a forage specialist and agriculture products and services consultant for Skagit Farmers Supply. His expertise is in Western Washington-based forage management with a special focus on nutrition for optimum animal health. He studied at the University of Nebraska, graduating from Excelsior College. A graduate of both WSU Extensions’ Cultivating Success and Livestock Advisor programs, Ridle has been working with livestock and forage for most of his life.

The workshop takes place 7-9 p.m. in WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th ST SE, Everett (inside McCollum Park). The cost is $25 per farm (up to three) or $15 per person. Register at ForageTesting.BrownPaperTickets.com or download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu/ForageTesting  and mail with your check. For more information, contact Kate Ryan Halstead at khalstead@wsu.edu or (425) 357-6024.

Published in the April 2016 issue of Grow Northwest

Leave a Comment