MDC offers warm-season grass workshop in Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting a native warm-season grass workshop for Missouri stockman from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 5 at Lincoln University’s George Washington Carver Farm in Jefferson City. The workshop is free, but space is limited and participants must pre-register by Aug. 25.

Attendees will learn about native grasses and what they are, how to prepare soils for seeding natives, establishing native grasses, how to properly hay and graze native grasses, and the financial benefits of natives. There will also be information on various incentives that are in place to help stockman establish native grasses on their farm.

“Planting with warm-season grasses offer many benefits for Missouri cattleman,” says MDC Private Land Conservationist Seth Barrioz. “Not only does it provide forage during the summer months, but it provides higher average daily grains then tall fescue and produces a higher tonnage of forage for 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 have been pushed to the side in favor of exotic cool season grasses. However, with a better understanding of how to manage native grasses, many farmers are now incorporating this quality forage back into their farming operations.

Carver Farm is on Bald Hill Road, just outside Jefferson City. Take Eastland Dr. exit on Hwy 50/63, turn left on Bald Hill Road and continue for 1.7 miles.

For information or to make a reservation contact Barrioz at 573-897-3797, ext. 116 or MDC Private Land Conservationist Eric Niemeyer at 573-796-0286.