Summer annual forage field days set in eastern Iowa


Cattle Grazing Forages.

VINTON, Iowa — Incorporating a summer annual into a crop rotation provides much needed summer slump grazing while utilizing minimal row crop acres. Denise Schwab, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, explained that a winter annual/summer annual forage rotation disrupts the standard corn/soybean rotation, which in turn provides these three benefits.

"One, it provides agronomic benefits such as reduced pest pressure, ability to rotate herbicides, and help scavenging soil nutrients; and two, it provides whole farm enterprise flexibility," she said. "Also, it provides feed during three critical seasons when perennial pasture production is limited."

Schwab has organized two forage field days in eastern Iowa that will demonstrate annual forage rotations and share the results of ISU research plots. Both feature producers utilizing summer annual forages and are free to attend.

Tuesday, August 23, 6 p.m., Damien Matt farm at 3738 Birch Rd, Clermont.
Craig Kleve from Hall Roberts’ & Son Feed & Seed will discuss annual forage traits and species selection, Eric Bro from Fayette County NRCS will discuss cost share opportunities, and Schwab will discuss utilizing annual forages in beef operations and the economics of an annual forage system. The Matts have a mixed stand of sorghumXsudangrass, millets, brassicas, clovers and sunflowers. See the event flyer.

Thursday, August 25, 6 p.m., Lori Schnoor farm at 15351 79th Ave, Maquoketa.
Schnoor will discuss NRCS cost share opportunities, Karl Dallefeld from Prairie Creek Seed will discuss seed selection and forage options, and Schwab will discuss utilizing annual forages in the grazing system. Also, Schnoor will share her newly established watering and fencing system for rotationally grazing her pastures and annual forages. See the event flyer.

The public is welcome to attend either or both of these field days to learn about the selection, production and economics of an annual forage rotation, and consider how these options might work for their operation. Please preregister to ensure materials and refreshments no later than Aug. 22 by calling Benton County Extension Office at 319-472-4739 or emailing

For more information, contact Schwab at or 319-721-9624.


The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit

Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, 319-472-4739,


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