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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Northeast Forage and Grassland Council Winter Pod Programs

Event information



Various locations in NE Minnesota


Troy Salzer, University of Minnesota Extension Educator
salze003@umn.edu or 218-591-0478

Tarah Young, University of Minnesota Extension Educator
youn1910@umn.edu or 763-688-1390

Local events

In conjunction with the Midwest Forage Association’s (MFA) Virtual Winter Symposium, the Northeast Forage and Grassland Council is hosting sites throughout the region for its own small-group winter presentations. These will be customizable presentations; since we have the recordings of the presentations from the MFA’s Symposium, attendees can choose which topics they would like to learn about. The topics are listed at the bottom of this document. In addition, there will also be live presentations given by local Extension educators.

The locations and dates are as follows:

Clinton Town Hall                                                                                       February 23rd 5:30pm-9:30pm

8907 MN-37, Iron Junction, MN 55751

Itasca County Courthouse Board Room                                    March 1st 10am-2pm

123 NE 4th Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744

Carlton County Transportation Building                                 March 5th 10am-2pm

1630 County Road 61, Carlton, MN 55718

McGregor Community Center                                                           March 10th 10am-2pm

41442 MN-65, McGregor, MN 55760

The Dam Supper Club                                                                               March 15th 10am-2pm

4247 US-53, Orr, MN 55771

To register, go to z.umn.edu/NEFGCwinter to sign up and order your tickets. The cost is $10 per person. We can also take registrations over the phone; contact Sarah at 218.471.7598 for help registering. Pre-registration is required so we know how many people will be at each location.

We will be following COVID-19 safety guidelines, which means the locations will be at 25% capacity. If you have any questions about the safety precautions or any other questions, please contact Tarah Young at 763.688.1390.

The Selection and Management of Cool Season Grass Species for Northeastern Minnesota

Speakers: Troy Salzer, UMN Extension St. Louis County Educator and Tarah Young, UMN Extension Carlton County Educator

In this in-person session taught by local Extension Educators, we will discuss cool season grass species, including species selection, planting rates, composition of mixes, seeding depth, new species considerations, and general characteristics of cool season grasses. We will focus on species that are staples to Northeastern Minnesota and how to manage them for the highest production success on your operation.

Seeding Success: Practical Consideration for Improving Alfalfa Establishment

Speaker: Matt Digman, University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI

While alfalfa seeding equipment’s technical development has lagged row-crops, producers have found new and innovative ways to ensure productive alfalfa stands even in the establishment year. This presentation will review the state of technology, best practices, and research in establishing alfalfa.

Using Manure to Meet Nutrient Needs of Alfalfa

Speaker: Carrie Laboski, University of Wisconsin Extension - Madison, WI

Farmers sometimes hesitate to spend money on potash, but they may be able to meet some or most of their alfalfa crop’s nutrient needs with manure. In this presentation, Carrie will show farmers the nutrient concentrations and value of manure as well as offer pointers on which types of alfalfa stands will make the best use of manure applications.

Making Your Manure Credits Count for Alfalfa/Grass/Corn Silage

Speaker: Quirine Ketterings, Cornell University - Ithaca, NY

Manure is a valuable source of nutrients and organic matter and brings direct value to crop production in addition to the potential to improve soil structure and soil quality over time. However, the actual value from manure will depend on how it is applied, when, at what rate, and to which crop. In this session I will share results of studies conducted with dairy farmers in New York on impact of manure application methods (surface application, incorporation, injection) and application timing (including sidedressing in standing corn) for corn silage and alfalfa/grass.

Is Midwest Weather/Climate Really Changing?

Speaker: Ed Hopkins, Wisconsin Climatology Office - Madison, WI

Over their lifetimes, residents across the Upper Midwest (especially in Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota) have experienced a variety of memorable to extreme weather events, including droughts, floods, cold waves, and heat waves. How have these weather patterns changed over the last 50 years? Does the weather observational data collected over this time-span support the claim of a changing climate? Has the Upper Midwest’s growing season lengthened? Are Midwestern winters becoming warmer? Has the region gotten wetter or drier over time? What do these changes do to agriculture across the region? What can we expect in the future - this spring, and out into mid-21st century? Terms such as weather, climate, climate variability, and climate change will be described.

Conservation Practices to Reduce Nutrient Losses

Speaker: Mike Stanek, NRCS - Madison, WI

Mike Stanek, NRCS State Agronomist, will discuss Wisconsin agricultural conservation practices used to prevent the losses of phosphorous and nitrogen to surface and groundwater. NRCS maintains a suite of conservation practices designed to reduce, trap, and prevent sediment from reaching surface waters. Mike will discuss some of their benefits, effectiveness, and limitations. He will review the tools used to measure P loss reduction. Nitrogen, however, is a different and complex beast. The major resource concern is nitrogen loss via nitrates to groundwater and surface water; both outlets eventually become drinking water. The nitrogen cycle will be discussed, as well as best management practices NRCS recommends for minimizing nitrate loss to groundwater.

Growing & Feeding Alfalfa-Grass Mixtures

Speaker: Craig Sheaffer, University of Minnesota - St. Paul, MN

This session will discuss the benefits of growing alfalfa in mixtures with perennial grasses, which include reduced weed and insect pressure, faster dry down of cut forage, resistance against winter injury, and traffic tolerance. Dairy cattle fed diets including alfalfa-grass mixtures can actually have performance exceeding that of dairy cattle fed diets including pure alfalfa forage. Join Dr. Sheaffer to learn more about both the benefits and challenges of alfalfa-grass mixtures.


$10 per person



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