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Workshop to discuss horse pasture management

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

FRANKLIN FURNACE, Ohio -- Horse owners who want to provide better foraging opportunities for their animals are invited to attend a workshop from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the Ohio Horse Park, 400 Bobcat Lane, Franklin Furnace, Ohio.

The "Southern Ohio Forage for Horses Workshop" is jointly hosted by the Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District and the Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District.

The workshop will cover information on pasture management, pasture soil fertility, forage species selection, tall fescue management, horse nutrition on pasture, manure management, and will include a pasture walk where plants will be identified and designing a grazing paddock system will be discussed.

The day will end with a hay quality discussion and hay evaluation session. Attendees are encouraged to bring a sample of their own hay for evaluation.

Bob Hendershot, who retired from the NRCS State Grassland Conservation and is now a part-time ODNR-DSWR Grazing Specialist, will lead the discussion. Hendershot helped develop the Forage for Horses program and has presented this material across the country. Also speaking will be Jeff Fisher, OSU Extension, Pike County, and Jeff Moore, OSU Extension, Gallia County.

According to a news release, "This workshop will provide tips to make better use of your horse pasture. Improving the productivity of your pastures can reduce the amount of hay needed. A well-managed pasture can provide a large portion of a horse's forage requirement mid-April through mid-November. Horses grazing well-managed paddocks will spread their manure over the pasture instead of in loafing areas or in their stalls. Healthy grass and legume plants are more productive if given the opportunity to regrow in between grazing events.

"You can improve forage growth by dividing the pasture into smaller paddocks and rotate the animals among the separate paddocks. Managing the forage is an important concept to understand to protect the environment, soil, water, plants and animals."

Producers need to register by May 3 by contacting Scioto SWCD at scioto@sciotoswcd.org or 740-259-9231. A registration fee of $20 will include materials, a 400-page Forage for Horses notebook, Pasture Stick, refreshments and lunch. Seating is limited.

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