East Texas Regional Forage Conference set Aug. 29

Authors of ‘Southern Forages’ will be speakers

Cattle grazing in East Texas

Forages play a huge role in the East Texas agricultural economy, and many of the forages grown here were developed for use by forage research institutions throughout the U.S. South, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Robert Burns)

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191, rd-burns@tamu.edu

LONGVIEW – The authors of one of the most widely read books on the establishment and utilization of southern forages will be featured speakers at the upcoming East Texas Regional Forage Conference, set Aug. 29 in Longview.

In 1991, “Southern Forages,” was originally planned as “just a practical book for forage crops” for the southern region of the U.S., said Dr. Don Ball, professor emeritus at Auburn University, and one of the book’s authors.

But to date, “Southern Forages,” currently in its fifth edition, has sold about 50,000 copies and is used as a textbook at more than 60 colleges. It has been published in Polish, Chinese, Czech, and within a few weeks, Spanish, Ball said.

Ball will be accompanied with one of his co-authors of “Southern Forages,” Gary Lacefield, University of Kentucky.

Sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in five counties, the conference will be held at the The Reserve, a private venue located at 7725 U.S. Highway 259 North, about 4.5 miles north of Longview.

Registration is $15 and includes lunch. Three continuing education units will be offered for holders of Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide licenses, one in laws and regulations, and two in the general category. The conference will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m.

“It’s Gregg, Harrison Panola, Rusk and Upshur counties that are putting this on,” said Randy Reeves, AgriLife Extension agent in Harrison County. “But it’s really a regional program. We’re inviting agents and the public from the whole region, as well as Extension agents in Louisiana and Arkansas.”

A regional forage program is a new endeavor for East Texas AgriLife Extension agents, Reeves said.

“We’ve done the East Texas Turfgrass conference before, but we hope to go way beyond the scope with this conference.”

Forages play a huge role in the East Texas agricultural economy, and many of the forages grown here were developed for use by forage research institutions throughout the U.S. South, including at Ball’s and Lacefield’s alma maters, he said.

Lacefield’s presentation is titled “Change, Challenges and Opportunities.” Ball will speak about “Forage Establishment and Soil Fertility.”

Two well-known regional AgriLife Extension specialists from Overton are also on the program, Reeves said. Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, will speak on “Making It Work In East Texas.” Dr. Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef specialist, will talk about “Utilization of Winter Forages in a Beef Operation.”

Reeves noted The Reserve has enough open indoor space to accommodate many more sponsors and their equipment displays than most East Texas venues.

“We expect to have a lot of the vendors’ equipment and displays in the room with us,” Reeves said. “There are not a lot of places here conducive to that.”

Participants will need to fill out a registration form and mail it in before the deadline of Aug. 22, according to Reeves. To get a registration form, they may contact the AgriLife Extension offices in Gregg, Harrison Panola, Rusk or Upshur counties.

Contact information for AgriLife Extension county offices may be found at http://counties.agrilife.org/ .

Alternately, those wishing to register may go http://bit.ly/12j3UIB to download a registration form, as well as a detailed agenda and a map to The Reserve, Reeves said.

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