By Patti Upmeyer

“It’s all about getting more animal feed from every acre of pasture,” said Neal Siela of Vinton. Siela is developing a managed grazing system including a well with buried water lines, subdivision fences, and weed control. He also interseeded a winter annual to increase grazing days in the spring, and will probably interseed improved forages in the future.

Siela will share his experiences at a pasture walk on Thursday, July 27, at 6:00 pm. In addition, Tina Cibula, Benton County NRCS District Conservationist, will speak on cost share opportunities to improve pastures and soil health, and Denise Schwab, ISUEO beef specialist, will discuss grazing efficiency. Some of the grazing practices to be highlighted include buried water lines to each paddock, pasture subdivision layout, division fencing, and incorporating winter annuals to extend the spring grazing season,.

The pasture is located at 2211 57th St. Trail, Vinton. From Vinton, go north on Hwy 218, continue straight (slight right) onto V61/22nd Ave Trl toward Mount Auburn about 2 miles, turn southwest (left) onto 57th St Trl about 1 mile.

Other pasture walks are July 10, at the Nathan Manternach farm 23476 Hwy 136, Cascade, and July 20 at the Scott Whitney Farm north of, Maquoketa. Manternach installed a managed grazing system including a central watering site, subdivision fences, and rotational grazing in 2014, and now is intensifying that system to include annual forages, interseeded legumes, and strip grazing. Whitney has developed a rotational grazing system included buried water lines, ponds, brush management, seeding and subdivision, but will also focus on landlord relationships.

Pasture walks are informal educational programs designed to demonstrate key areas of pasture management, as well as answer any questions you might have. Each has a slightly different focus and all producers who are dependent on forage production are invited to attend to improve their own pasture management. This event is co-sponsored by the Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District, NRCS, ISU Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Beef Center, Benton County Farm Bureau and the Benton County Cattlemen. For more information, please contact Denise Schwab at 319-472-4739 or email at dschwab@iastate.edu .