Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Central MN Forage Council will hold a summer
field day on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at the John and Carl Traut farm north of Sartell. The program will start at 10 a.m. The Traut farm is located at 38485-55th Ave., called Pine Cone Road in Sartell. This is about 4 1/2 miles north of the intersection of Pine Cone Road and County 133 which is 2nd St. S. The driveway is across from the Upper Deck softball field. Watch for Forage Tour signs. Trauts work with crop consultants and agribusiness people to run extensive alfalfa, corn silage and corn grain variety plots on the farm. One of the key themes in the program will be how they sort through the information to select varieties that are the most useful for their crop production program and for their dairy herd. Extension staff, agribusiness reps, crop consultants, and other farm operators will be on-hand to contribute to the discussion and to answer questions. Handouts will provide information from plots for recent years. The program will include the following: Alfalfa Variety Plots, including 25 varieties. Mike Velde of Dairyland Seeds and crop consultant Rick Gilbertson will join John in discussion about these plots. The plots are primarily geared at identifying varieties that have resistance to aphanomyces, a seedling alfalfa disease that has caused some significant problems on the Traut farm. John will tell about some of their goals and key practices in growing alfalfa. Corn Silage Plots, featuring 31 varieties. John will share how he moved from selecting for grain yield hybrids to selecting for corn silage varieties that excel in yield and quality for the dairy herd. In 2007, irrigated test plots averaged 30.6 tons/acre and grain yield plots average 217.6 bushels. The Trauts point out that even though most dryland farms in this area won't achieve these yields, many of the varieties that do well here also rank well on dryland trials conducted by U of M Extension. Nitrogen Application Trial. Considering first and second year manure credits, the Trauts put in strip trials with an additional 50, 100, and 150 pounds of nitrogen to see if the nitrogen they expected from manure was adequate. This is a useful discussion as many farmers and crop advisors are working to make the best use of manure resources to manage production costs. Corn Grain Yield Plots, featuring 21 varieties. There won't be a lot of discussion on these, but there will be a chance to take a take a look and visit with the company reps that are able to attend. A grilled lunch will be served between 11:30 and noon, provided by Helena Chemical Company. After lunch, the Trauts will discuss feeding strategies for their dairy herd, along with harvest and storage strategies. Feed materials currently used will be displayed, including wrapped baled hay and oatlage. Extension Dairy Educator Jim Salfer will contribute to this discussion. For those who have an interest, Trauts will demonstrate some of their hay handling equipment including a Buhler bale mover and wrapping equipment. Along with wrapping hay, Trauts have wrapped straw and corn stalks. The event will be held rain or shine with the option of using a farm shed and the plots as weather permits. Tune to KASM 1150 AM if there are drastic weather events or call the Stearns County Extension Office at (320) 255-6169 if a local call to St. Cloud or toll-free (800) 450-6171. Questions about the event can be referred to Extension Educator Dan Martens at (320) 968-5077 at Foley or toll-free (800) 964-4929. The event is sponsored by the Central Minnesota Forage Council and the Midwest Forage Association with assistance from U of M Extension and Helena Chemical. Anez Consulting and Pro-Ag Crop Consultants assist the Trauts with plot work and crop management.