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Smith Family Farms, which is located near Mt. Vernon, will host the annual event.

May 14, 2008

2 Min Read

The 2008 Illinois Forage Expo will feature equipment demonstrations, educational presentations and the Quality Hay Contest.

The expo is set for Saturday, June 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Smith Family Farms near Mount Vernon. The farm operation, managed by Tom Smith, includes a beef custom grazing enterprise, which utilizes warm- and cool-season perennial grasses. Also, summer annuals such as pearl millet are rotationally grazed.

The Forage Expo includes field demonstrations of forage harvesting equipment and commercial displays of forage-related products and equipment.

Educational presentations will focus on matching forage species with animal nutritional requirements in a year-long grazing program; managing higher fertility costs in pastures and hayland; and controlling weeds and arthropods in forages with integrated pest management principles.

The Expo also includes the Quality Hay Contest for producers to enter 2008 harvested bales. Entries are evaluated for bale density, visual assessment, crude protein, acid detergent fiber and relative feed value. There is no entry fee, and NIRS analysis will be provided free of charge. Bales weighing over 100 pounds will need an official scale weigh ticket. Entries will be accepted from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Compressed or re-baled bales are not eligible. The four hay classes for entry are alfalfa, grass, alfalfa/grass mix and other.

Smith Family Farms can be reached by going about 7 miles west of Mount Vernon on Route 15, then turn south on Panzier Lane for 1½ miles, and watch for signs. Lunch will be available at the expo.

More information about the Illinois Forage Expo is available at  For information on exhibiting a commercial display, contact Stacy Helm, Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, 618-244-0773, ext 3.

The Forage Expo is sponsored by the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, University of Illinois Extension, Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Risk Management Agency and Illinois Grassland Conservation Initiative.

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