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Summer Grazing Tour Highlights Local Producers

hay-ride.jpgStrong winds, rain and hail couldn't stop the Kingsbury County Grazing Tour in DeSmet, S.D. last night. I attended the event, along with 40 other interested producers, to learn more about quality, effective grazing systems. Featured producers included Bruce Penner and Gary Noem. In addition to hearing their stories, several speakers from Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) addressed the crowd on topics including: planting cover crops, fighting weeds, understanding growing seasons, grazing paddocks and calculating vegetation composition and available grazing days.

brent-woods.jpg NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist Brent Woods opened up the event with his presentation on cover crops and grazing Brassicas. Although his speech was interrupted by the strong storm, I managed to steal an interview with Woods after the group was moved to the neighboring courthouse basement for safety from the storm. Woods offers a few tips for planting and grazing cover crops.

"A Brassica is a group of closely related plants which include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rape, radish, turnip and swede," said Woods, "Brassicas are high in protein and energy but low in fiber and should be fed in conjunction with grass or hay. There is usually no need to supplement copper, manganese or zinc."

Woods continued to explain the benefits of cover crops as well as feeding and planting methods. Do you use cover crops? Have you had any luck? Do you have advice for other producers that might be interested? For more information on cover crops and how they can be used as a supplement to grass, check out the cover crop resources at NRCS.

BEEF Daily Quick Fact: Iron helps carry oxygen to cells and tissues, assists in making red blood cells, aids in brain development and supports the immune system-all to keep you healthy. Beef is the number three source of iron in the American diet behind enriched breads and cereals, and the iron found in beef is more easily absorbed than the iron in plant products. (Source: Beef: Nutrients That Work as Hard as You Do)