Evanston hosting second-annual Wyoming-Utah Ag Days


Bridger Feuz, extension livestock marketing specialist
Bridger Feuz, extension livestock marketing specialist

Topics ranging from the cattle market outlook to sage grouse and deworming sheep are among topics at Wyoming-Utah Ag Days Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 23-24, in Evanston.

Sessions are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. each day at the Evanston Roundhouse, 1500 Main St., said Bridger Feuz, University of Wyoming Extension educator. Lunch is served each day if participants RSVP before 9 a.m. Jan. 22.

This is the second year for the program.

“The workshops are full of powerful presenters and timely and relevant topics,” said Feuz.

Day 1 topics include irrigation of forages, why grow relationships with the next generation, cattle market outlook, raising backyard chickens, rancher rules of thumb, backyard livestock production, winter livestock feeding and irrigated alfalfa variety performance.

Day 2 topics are weed identification and control, sage grouse and grazing, quantifying deworming in Wyoming sheep, litigation between the Western Watersheds Project and federal land management agencies, landscape-based riparian grazing, beekeeping 101, modern meat cuts (hands-on demonstration) and a question-and-answer session about meat and meat cutting.

Feuz said Cat Urbigkit, co-owner and editor of The Shepherd magazine, will speak about guardian dog use in large carnivore country during her keynote during lunch Tuesday. Urbigkit owns a western Wyoming sheep and cattle ranch. Feuz said she raises working livestock guardian dogs and travels the globe learning about guardian dog use in large carnivore country.

“People can come for the whole time on both days or pick and choose individual topics they wish to attend,” said Feuz.

For more information or to RSVP, contact the Uinta County Extension office at 307-783-0570.

UW Extension bulletin explains grass-legume mixtures boost forage

Grass-legume mixtures benefit forage productivity, quality and stand persistence, according to a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Extension.

Extension forage specialist Anowar Islam

The results are from three years of tests at the James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center near Lingle, said extension forage specialist Anowar Islam, one of the authors.

At least 25 percent legumes in a mixed stand can produce higher yield and quality than monoculture alfalfa and nitrogen fertilized grasses, he said. A 50-50 percent mixture would be the optimum seeding proportion of meadow bromegrass and alfalfa under Wyoming conditions.

The bulletin, “Grass-legume mixtures improve forage yield, quality, stand persistence,” B-1309, is available for viewing and free download by going towww.uwyo.edu/uwe and clicking on Find a Publication.  Type the title or number in the search field. The bulletin is available in pdf, HTML or ePub formats.


UW research finds prairie dogs increase forage quality, acknowledges nuisances

Lauren Connell during an annual vegetation survey at a control site in the Thunder Basin National Grassland.

Ranchers have known prairie dogs can reduce rangeland forage by as much as half, but prairie dogs may significantly increase the quality of forage that regrows, according to research by a University of Wyoming master’s student.

Lauren Connell said forage clipping by prairie dogs maintains a younger plant growth stage, and its palatability is significantly more nutrient-rich.

Her preliminary data is based on forage quality samples collected on and off prairie dog colonies from four sites in the Thunder Basin National Grassland in June, July and August and biomass samples in August.

Her research suggests the prairie dog-livestock relationship mimics the historic prairie dog-bison structure. Perennial rangeland plants evolved with intense, short-term grazing by bison and the grazing leads to new, highly nutritious leaves.

Prairie dogs foraging and associated soil disturbance removes dead plant material, establishes grasses and forbs in a high state of nutrition and maintains that quality for a longer period of the growing season, she said.

“That can be a benefit to cattle,” said Connell, a student in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Continue reading UW research finds prairie dogs increase forage quality, acknowledges nuisances