No. 18 Article 3/July 24, 2009

Illinois Forage Expo on July 31

The 2009 Illinois Forage Expo will be held on Friday, July 31, at Meier Farms, 205 North Dakota Road, Ridott, in Stephenson County. The expo will start at 9:00 and conclude at 4:00. Meier Farms is a family-operated 300-head dairy confinement operation with 345 acres of alfalfa.

The Forage Expo will offer field demonstrations of forage harvesting equipment and commercial displays of forage-related products and equipment. Educational sessions will focus on using autosteer in forage systems, economics of alfalfa production, managing risk with hay insurance, and nutrient management planning and how EQIP can help. Also, Dr. Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois Extension dairy specialist, will discuss forages and today's milk price. The presentations and exhibits will be held in Meier Farms' new hay shed.

A quality hay and haylage contest will be available for producers to enter 2009 harvested bales and haylage. Entries must be delivered to the site between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. There is no entry fee, and free NIRS analysis will be provided. Bales weighing over 100 pounds will need an official scale weigh ticket.

From the west, Meier Farms can be reached by exiting US Route 20 at the Route 75 (Freeport/Dakota) exit. Turn right and go south 3/4 mile on Route 75, then turn left (east) and go 2 miles on River Road, then turn right (south) on Dakota Road and go 1/2 mile. If you approach from the east, go west on US Route 20 to Rock City Road. Turn right (north) and go 2 miles, then turn left (west) on River Road and go 3 miles, then turn left (south) on Dakota Road and go 1/2 mile. Watch for signs.

Lunch will be available at the expo site. Additional information is available at web.extension.uiuc.edu/stephenson. If you are interested in a commercial display, contact Nikki Keltner, University of Illinois Extension, Stephenson County, Freeport, at 815-235-4125.

The Illinois Forage Expo is sponsored by Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, Blackhawk Hills RC and D, and Illinois EPA, with support from University of Illinois Extension, Stephenson County Farm Bureau, Stephenson County Soil and Water Conservation District, Northwestern Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, USDA Natural Resources Conservation District, and Illinois Grassland Conservation Initiative.Dale Baird, extension educator, crop systems

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