December 10, 2003 | By: Haven Miller

Whether it’s dairy cows, horses or goats, high quality forages are essential to animal health and performance. 

A new program targeting historically tobacco-dependent counties in northeastern Kentucky aims to help producers improve forage quality and increase the market potential of hay.

“Forages are well suited for soils in that part of the state, and the counties that lie generally east of I-75 and north of I-64 are an appropriate location to use as a model for doing some of the forage education work we feel could be useful in other parts of Kentucky,” said Mike Collins, forage researcher in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

Enabled by a $363,000 grant from Kentucky’s Agricultural Development Board to the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council, the program will concentrate on improving cash hay production and marketing, and increasing nutritive quality of on-farm hay and pastures.

With cooperation from the Commodity Growers Cooperative Association, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, UK’s College of Agriculture will hire two forage professionals to provide technical expertise to producers and work closely with UK’s forage team.

These professionals also will provide support to the Buffalo Trace Area Produce and Hay Auction and other hay marketing outlets in the area.

“These will be full-time positions, with one of them being a hay marketing specialist and the other a forage professional who puts emphasis on forage systems for goats,” Collins said.

Because goat production is on the rise in many counties, Collins said the new program offers an excellent chance to identify preferred forage species and also to assist producers in introducing grazing management practices that enhance goat health. 


Source: Mike Collins, 859-257-3358