MDC offers Native Warm-Season Grass Workshop in Linn

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LINN, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites Missouri stockmen to attend a native warm-season grass workshop in Linn. The workshop will take place 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., July 9, at the Osage County USDA Office in Linn.  Space is limited for this free workshop, and participants must preregister by July 7.  

Attendees will learn about financial benefits of using native grasses as forage, how to prepare soils for seeding and establishing natives, as well as how to properly hay and graze native grasses. MDC will also provide information on various incentives that can help stockmen establish native grasses on their farms. Following the classroom portion, participants will drive to a local farm where native grasses were planted and are being managed for livestock forage. 

“Planting with warm-season grasses offers many benefits for Missouri cattlemen,” said MDC Private Land Conservationist Seth Barrioz. “Not only does it provide forage during the summer months, but it provides higher average daily gains than tall fescue and produces a higher tonnage of forage for many years.”

Warm-season grasses are not new to Missourians. When Missouri was settled, more than 15 million acres of these grasses grew abundantly over the state.

Early settlers took advantage of the lush vegetation provided by the native grasses and were able to graze cattle, but due to changing management, the native grasses were mostly abandoned in favor of cool-season grasses.  However, with a better understanding of how to manage native grasses and the dry summers that we have experienced in the past, many farmers have begun incorporating this quality forage back into their farming operations with positive results. 

For information or to register for this free event, contact Seth Barrioz at 573-897-3797, ext. 116.