Pope County Field Day to Focus on Grazing Pasture & Cover Crops

BROOTEN, Minn. — A field day on grazing techniques will he held Thursday, Aug. 1, from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Terry and Darlene Barchenger farm near Broken (10412 230th St., Brooten, MN 56316-4566). The field day will focus mainly on beef cattle management, but these practices can be applied to all classes of grazing livestock. Practices covered will include managed intensive rotational grazing, grazing cover crops on cropland, and a how-to demo on temporary fencing. A light evening meal will be provided.

This event, which is sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Land Stewardship Project (LSP), the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA), Glacial Ridge Cattlemen, The Nature Conservancy, and the Pope Soil and the Water Conservation District, is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required but are strongly encouraged for ordering of the food. Please make reservations by July 29. For more information on this field day or grazing programs, please contact either Melissa Behrens 320-634-5143 or Jessica Hoheisel at 320-634-5143.

From 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be an informal information session for non-operating landowners interested in grazing management. Those interested are invited to come and learn about the basics of grazing and some basic resources for grazing rental leases. For more information on this session, please contact LSP's Robin Moore at 320-269-2105 or rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org.

The Barchengers will talk about and demonstrate temporary fence and fence options for cattle. They will also have a variety of temporary fence equipment on-hand for viewing. The operation started working with NRCS on its current grazing system in 2005. Today, the Barchengers graze 265 acres of pastureland and plant 25 acres of cover crops annually.

The field day will provide an overview of their grazing system, use of high tensile fencing, watering systems, grazing cover crops, and discuss converting cropland to perennial pasture. A demonstration of using temporary fence to subdivide paddocks will be presented. Producers will have a chance to talk to other producers about what’s working and not working in their grazing operations. Everyone is encouraged to share information on utilizing cover crops in their operations.