North Dakota: Pasture and harvested forage management workshop Jan. 4-6 |

North Dakota: Pasture and harvested forage management workshop Jan. 4-6

A 12-month pasture and harvested forage management planning workshop designed for livestock producers, land managers and natural resource students will be conducted at the red office building at the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center. The building is on the corner of State Avenue and Empire Road in Dickinson, ND.

The workshop will be offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 4-6, 2011.

The workshop will run from 1 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. Dickinson is in the Mountain time zone.

The workshop instructors are Lee Manske, NDSU DREC range scientist, and Toby Stroh, Dickinson State University assistant professor of agriculture and ArcGIS instructor.

The workshop will scientifically address the persistent problems in livestock agriculture of high production costs and low profit margins resulting from the asymmetrical mismatch between the quantity of forage nutrients required by modern, high-performance cattle and the quantity of forage nutrients provided from traditional forage management practices. This mismatch causes cattle performance and land resource productivity to be at less than potential levels.

During the workshop, each participant will learn how to develop and properly operate a biologically effective management strategy with twice-over rotation grazing on summer pastures in conjunction with a complete 12-month complementary pasture and harvested forage sequence specific for his or her ranch.

“These science-based management strategies meet the nutrient requirements of livestock during each production period and meet the biological requirements of grass plants and rhizosphere microorganisms,” Manske said. “The strategies also increase the quantity of forage nutrients produced, improve the efficiency of forage nutrient capture and improve the efficiency of conversion of forage nutrients into saleable animal weight commodities. These biologically effective 12-month management strategies generate greater new wealth from the land’s natural resources without depleting future production.”

Information related to the workshop material is available at

To design pasture and harvested forage management strategies specific to individual ranches, maps with each pasture and field for the entire land holdings, including owned and leased land, need to be made, and acreages of each soil type in each parcel of land need to be calculated prior to the start of the workshop.

This information can be developed by using two methods. The first method is the old-fashioned hard way by having each participant prepare from aerial photographs a complete set of land holdings maps with calculated acreage for each pasture and parcel of land and acreages of forage type and soil type within each parcel. Instructions for this method are available using the Grazing Handbook at Go to the third red button and then to Pages two through six.

The second method for development of ranch land holdings maps is to have this information compiled electronically by a crew of ArcGIS mapping specialists.

Location descriptions of land holdings will need to be provided to the specialists one month prior to the workshop to give them sufficient time to develop the maps.

There is a nonoptional lab fee of $25 per person to cover the costs of supplies, refreshments and a working supper on the second day. A three-volume set of textbooks is available at the printers’ cost of $75. The optional, but highly recommended, ArcGIS map set is $75 per ranch. An option for professional development with 1 or 2 graduate credits for this continuing education course is available from NDSU at a cost of $50 per credit. Participants will supply their own calculators, notebooks, lodging, transportation and most meals.

Registration is limited to 20 ranches and is open between now and the start of the workshop. Participants requesting ArcGIS maps to be developed for their ranch must register before Dec. 7. For workshop information or to register, call Manske at 701-483-2348, Ext. 118, or e-mail him at