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Summer Annual Forage Field Days Set in Eastern Iowa
Iowa Ag Connection - 08/04/2022

Incorporating a summer annual into a crop rotation provides much needed summer slump grazing while utilizing minimal row crop acres. Denise Schwab, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, explained that a winter annual/summer annual forage rotation disrupts the standard corn/soybean rotation, which in turn provides these three benefits.

"One, it provides agronomic benefits such as reduced pest pressure, ability to rotate herbicides, and help scavenging soil nutrients; and two, it provides whole farm enterprise flexibility," she said. "Also, it provides feed during three critical seasons when perennial pasture production is limited."

Cattle grazing annuals.Schwab has organized two forage field days in eastern Iowa that will demonstrate annual forage rotations and share the results of Iowa State research plots. Both feature producers utilizing summer annual forages and are free to attend.

- Aug. 23, 6 p.m., Damien Matt farm at 3738 Birch Rd, Clermont.

Craig Kleve from Hall Roberts' & Son Feed & Seed will discuss annual forage traits and species selection, Eric Bro from Fayette County NRCS will discuss cost share opportunities, and Schwab will discuss utilizing annual forages in beef operations and the economics of an annual forage system. The Matts have a mixed stand of sorghumXsudangrass, millets, brassicas, clovers and sunflowers. See the event flyer.

- Aug. 25, 6 p.m., Lori Schnoor farm at 15351 79th Ave., Maquoketa.

Schnoor will discuss NRCS cost share opportunities, Karl Dallefeld from Prairie Creek Seed will discuss seed selection and forage options, and Schwab will discuss utilizing annual forages in the grazing system. Also, Schnoor will share her newly established watering and fencing system for rotationally grazing her pastures and annual forages. See the event flyer.

The public is welcome to attend either or both of these field days to learn about the selection, production and economics of an annual forage rotation, and consider how these options might work for their operation. Pre-register to ensure materials and refreshments no later than Aug. 22 by calling ISU Extension and Outreach Benton County at 319-472-4739 or emailing

For more information, contact Schwab at or 319-721-9624.

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