One of the new conservations programs that USDA-NRCS now cost-shares on is stockpiling grass and then grazing it in the winter. This is certainly not a new idea, but it is new to get cost sharing.
The general idea is to set aside certain fields in August and not graze them again until this time of year, and on through the winter. Ideally, some type of temporary electric fence is used to strip graze the stockpiled forage. That is, only give the cows access to a few days of grass at a time.
Strip grazing utilizes the stockpiled forage much more effectively and it therefore will provide more days of winter feed. Every day that the cows eat stockpiled forage instead of hay, the farmer makes more money. Feeding hay all winter is an expensive way to winter cows.
A field day has been planned to visit a couple of farms that are utilizing winter grazing. The field day will be Jan. 6, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon. Both farms being visited are in the Lost Creek area.
The field day will start at the farm of Edison Law Jr. and Richard Law. The Law’s have utilized winter grazing from several years and have become somewhat proficient at it.
To get to the Law Farm, take I-79 North, then take Exit 110 - Lost Creek, go right off the ramp, then go straight at the four-way stop. Go 3 miles and turn left on Blue Lick Road. Go 1 mile to the farm and parking will be on the right side of the road.
The second farm visit will be at the Nelson Blake Farm. Nelson is new to winter grazing and he can share some of his experiences. Directions to the Blake farm will be provided the day of the event.
At both farms, you will be able to see the cattle that are grazing so you can assess for yourself how the program is working for the livestock. This is an exciting program and if you winter cattle, you should check it out.
The 2018 WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar is now available. Gardening has always been an important part of the lives of West Virginians, and WVU Extension Service is here to help ensure gardeners across the state have the knowledge they need to be successful.
The 2018 Garden Calendar focuses on “gardening around the state.” The calendar has information about different types of gardens and educational and economic impacts on the state, all the while giving you the day-to-day gardening advice you’ve come to expect. In the back, you’ll find disease management tips and new recipes to enhance your own gardening traditions.
The WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar can be picked up at the WVU-Lewis County Extension Office at 104 Center Ave., in Weston. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except we are closed from noon to 1 p.m.