Wurdack Research Center Showcases Projects During Field Day

Field day focuses on forage management

The Wurdack Research Center featured a variety of topics during its annual field day, which was held on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Center near Cook Station. A big focus of the presentations was on forage management.

Along with the research presentations, attendees were served a free lunch, sponsored by First Community National Bank.

“We had a great lineup of speakers who did a nice job of providing important and timely information for our attendees,” said Dusty Walter, superintendent of the Wurdack Research Center. “While our focus was on forage management, and we did cover that topic in-depth, we wanted to provide numerous presentations and hit a number of topics.”

Red Rooster Sawmill Operation and Custom Cutting was on-site for a live demonstration during the Wurdack Research Center field day.Red Rooster Sawmill Operation and Custom Cutting was on-site for a live demonstration during the Wurdack Research Center field day.

The presentations were broken into two tours, with four speakers each. The first tour allowed attendees to take a wagon ride through the Center. Rusty Lee, an agronomy specialist with MU Extension, and Rachel Hopkins, a county engagement specialist with MU Extension, discussed fescue management and cutting heights and its effects on hay yield and regrowth, respectively. Josh Tooley, graduate student, gave a presentation on managing sericea lespedeza in forage livestock systems on the wagon tour as well. Hannah Hemmelgarn, MU Center for Agroforestry, gave a mushroom-growing demonstration and talked about growing mushrooms as an alternative forest crop.

“Rusty and Rachel have done several projects at Wurdack, and it was nice to hear from them on their findings,” Walter said. “Josh provided an important look at sericea lespedeza and how to manage it in a field. It was also great to have Hannah attend our field day. Growing mushrooms can be a nice way to introduce individuals to specialty crops.”

The second tour was under the Wurdack Research Center pavilion, located near the spring that runs through part of the Center. That tour included Melinda Barch, USDA/NRCS district conservationist, who showcased the programs they offer to farmers and producers. Cody Roberts, a private land conservationist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, gave a presentation on warm-season grass. Craig Payne, associate Extension professor in veterinary medicine, presented on anaplasmosis, a disease spread in a handful of ways that can affect cattle.

Red Rooster Sawmill Operation and Custom Cutting was also on-site for a live demonstration.

“While we feel it’s important to share our research results, we also wanted to showcase programs available to farmers and producers,” Walter said. “Melinda and Cody did a great job sharing what those programs are. Craig brings a great expertise in the realm of cattle disease, and he really laid out the possible warning signs of anaplasmosis.

“We have appreciated Red Rooster Sawmill being at our field day the past two years now. They do a great job of presenting the options for those who have timber on their property.”

For a closer look at the Wurdack Research Center field day, visit: flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157701994998394.