Monday, August 31, 2020

Pasture Walks Highlight Cover Crop Grazing Sept. 29 Adams County, Oct. 20 Franklin County

Planting cover crops for livestock grazing can result in multiple benefits for soil health and livestock nutrition when implemented as part of regular crop rotation or during pasture establishment. 
Key elements needed for successful cover crop grazing on a livestock farm, include infrastructure such as fencing (either temporary or permanent) watering systems, cover crop selection, and selection of appropriate livestock breeds. 
These elements and an overview of onsite research will be the focus of two pasture walks hosted by Capital RC&D in Southcentral Pennsylvania on September 29 10:00 a.m. to Noon in Adams County and October 20 10:00 a.m. to Noon in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Adams County
Josh Ramsburg, owner of Rock Creek Farms in Adams County, uses permanent pasture to graze his beef herd. He saw the potential benefit of cover crop grazing and installed perimeter fencing and water lines to incorporate that practice as part of his existing field crop rotation. 
The September 29th event will feature the current cover crop mix, discuss infrastructure options, and address the impacts of weather-related issues during installation and cover crop seeding.
Franklin County
Ben Peckman, owner of Slate Ridge Dairy Farm in Franklin County, has used cover crops and no-till techniques in his fields for many years but recently incorporated a small beef herd into the rotation on a portion of his acreage. 
The October 20th pasture walk will focus on infrastructure and paddock design, issues experienced adopting a new practice and incorporating a new herd, as well as rotation and cover crop species selection.
Technical advisors will be onsite during each event to help address specific questions. 
Registration is requested to meet appropriate physical distancing requirements and can be made by emailing, or by calling 717-241-4361- please leave a message for extension 15.
These and two additional farms in Adams and Franklin Counties are participating in Capital RC&D’s Promoting Grazing and Cover Cropping by Developing Better Practice Information, Outreach and Cost-sharing project, a collaboration between researchers from Penn State University.
Grazing specialists from USDA-NRCS, grazing advisors from Capital RC&D, and researchers from USDA-ARS, support the project that is funded through a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed grant.
For more information contact Cheryl Burns at Capital RC&D at 717-241-4361 or via email at
Visit the Capital RC&D website for more information on programs, educational opportunities and assistance to farmers and landowners.
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[Posted: August 31, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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