Va. Extension hosts Shenandoah Valley field day on Aug. 3
RAPHINE, Va. — The 2022 Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center on Aug. 3 will give farmers with interests in forage, livestock and forestry a chance to see the results of research there.
Registration begins at noon with the tour beginning at 1 p.m. and end with dinner. Virginia Tech faculty will present brief summaries of their projects.
“Forages are the backbone of profitable livestock production systems in the Mid-Atlantic,” Gabe Pent, superintendent of the facility, said. “At the Shenandoah Valley AREC, we develop and study forage and livestock management practices that make economic sense while also enhancing the ecosystem functions of our farmland.
“We’ll get a chance to look at some of these techniques, with a particular emphasis on summer grazing practices, during this afternoon field day.”
This tour will feature current work on improving cattle performance through supplementation of novel feeds, developing alternative grazing systems and establishing multi-functional forage mixtures.
“Many farmers own woodlots or forests,” Pent said. “When managed well, these lands can return a profit to the landowner and provide benefits to our natural resources and communities. We’ll visit one of our timber stands where we’ve recently implemented a novel technique for improving hardwood regeneration, and we’ll learn about various practices we’ve implemented across the farm over the past twenty years.”
Topics the faculty is scheduled to cover include technologies in beef cattle reproductive technologies and utilizing technologies for understanding the impacts of grazing management on soil fertility and health.
Research projects to be discussed include:
• Stockers fed sericea lespedeza pellets show reduced impacts of fescue toxicosis by Sanjok Poudel, John Fike and Pent;
• Creep-grazing winter annuals for fall calves and summer forage options by Pent;
• Native warm season grass variety and grazing evaluations by Kathryn Payne, J. B. Daniel and Pent;
• Bee-friendly beef by Jonathan Kubesch and Ben Tracy;
• Femelschlag and improving hardwood regeneration, by Adam Downing;
• Feeding barn studies, by Stefania Pancini and Viator Mercadante;
• Impact of implanting calves on cow and calf performance, by John Benner;
• Effects of bale-grazing on soil fertility, by Summer Thomas and Rory Maguire;
• Clipping heifer hair coats can briefly reduce fescue symptoms, by Chris Beard;
• Updates on artificial insemination protocols for cows and impacts of calving season on cow-calf productivity, by Vitor Mercadante.