Northwest Arkansas hosts American Forage and Grassland Council tour

May 11, 2012
Contact Information:

Tina Bowling, American Forage and Grassland Council.

John Jennings, U of A System Division of Agriculture, Little Rock

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Watching grass grow will be a major attraction in northwest Arkansas May 17-18 during the AFGC Annual Tour sponsored by the American Forage and Grassland Council and organized by the Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council.

Forage, hay and livestock producers; agricultural scientists and forage industry professionals will gather at the Embassy Suites in Rogers, 3303 Pinnacle Hills Parkway. Registration will be at 9 a.m. Thursday for those not pre-registered. The tour begins at 10 a.m. Registration fee is $75 for both days, $50 for Thursday or $35 for Friday. The fee includes meals and transportation.

John Jennings, an animal science professor and forage specialist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the tour will focus on merging environmental and economic interests. Stops will include the Larry Miser farm near Pea Ridge, Malone Farm at Highfill and Marley Farm near Elkins; the use of alfalfa at a wastewater treatment facility in Rogers; and the Division of Agriculture's Watershed Research and Education Center in Fayetteville.

National Hay Contest judging will be at the Benton County Fair Grounds on Thursday along with a presentation by the National Forage Testing Association. Arkansas producers have won the bermudagrass category in the hay contest the last 11 years.

Jennings said the Marley Farm near Elkins, a Friday tour stop, is a Division of Agriculture "Discovery Farm" where research is being conducted on the environmental impact of various practices in a sensitive watershed.