UK, Kentucky Equine Humane Center to host pasture management seminar

The University of Kentucky's pasture evaluation program will host a seminar called "Horse Pastures in the Fall: a Perfect Time to Renovate" in conjunction with the Kentucky Equine Humane Center at the Center's facility in Nicholasville, Ky., on Tuesday, Aug. 26 from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

The seminar will feature guest speakers from UK who will touch on topics such as fescue toxicosis, the economics of pastures and hay, rotational grazing, fall weed control and fall fertilization. Many of these topics are fresh on the minds of horse owners and farm managers across central Kentucky because fall is the best time for pasture renovation.

"We will feature many practical demonstrations," said Ray Smith, UK forage extension specialist. "An example of one of them is utilizing temporary fencing in horse pastures to allow for maximum pasture productivity this fall and next spring."

A meal will be provided for those who attend. Sponsors of this event include the UK Equine Initiative, Jessamine County Cooperative Extension Service and Thompson and Shearer of Jessamine County.

The Kentucky Equine Humane center, founded in April 2007, has a mission to provide humane treatment and shelter to unwanted horses, educate the public and raise awareness about the importance of equine ownership and work with the equine industry, serving as a model for humane treatment of horses. The center has successfully adopted out more than 100 horses since it was founded.

UK's pasture evaluation program recently started a fencing project at the center to assist in optimally managing horses. The fencing project consists of dividing a 20-acre pasture into three smaller fields using two lines of electric fence.

This project began with the goal of helping the center get the greatest possible use of available forage by using a rotational grazing system in the pastures. The labor was provided by UK, and Gallagher Animal Management Systems provided the fencing materials at a reduced price.

UK anticipates this project can become an example for other Central Kentucky horse farm owners who are interested in rotational grazing. Since the seminar features a segment on that topic, the Humane Center's new fencing structures will serve as an example of what can be done to maximize pasture use in a cost effective manner.

"We are very pleased that the UK College of Agriculture has been so much help in improving our pastures. We couldn't have done it without them," said Jim Smith, central Kentucky equine veterinarian and Kentucky Equine Humane Center president.

If you would like more information on the seminar or would like to register, contact the Jessamine County Cooperative Extension office at 859-885-4811. For more information about the Kentucky Equine Humane Center visit http://www.kyehc.org.

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