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Pasture-Finished Beef Field Day at Willow Bend

Livestock Update, July 2008

Dr. Mark Wahlberg, Extension Livestock Specialist, VA Tech

Producers will get a chance to learn more about Pasture-Finished Beef Production on August 21, 2008.  The Willow Bend Farm in Union, West Virginia will host a field day that afternoon to share research results with producers.

For several years a joint research project between West Virginia University, Virginia Tech, Clemson University, and the Agriculture Research Service has been investigating various aspects of Pasture-Based Beef Systems for Appalachia.  The calves produced at the Shenandoah Valley Agriculture and Research Center (SVAREC) are winter-stockered in West Virginia, and finished on pasture at the Willow Bend Farm, which is a West Virginia University research farm.

Results of completed research will be reported at the field day.  This will include response to winter stockering, performance on pasture, carcass traits of cattle finished on pasture, and the various aspects of beef composition and consumer appeal of the beef that is produced.

Those attending the field day will view the 2008 pasture-finished cattle which will be grazing mixed species of cool-season grasses and legumes as well as two different annual crops.  Triticale is a cross between rye and wheat and produces abundant forage for grazing in the later months of grazing.  Teff, a warm-season annual that originated in Ethiopia, is getting a lot of attention in the United States as a highly productive, high quality forage crop.

A major focus will be grazing strategies to ensure high quality forage for pasture-finished steers.

More details of the field day schedule will be forthcoming.  Plan to attend this event on August 21 where the focus will be Pasture-Finished Beef Production.


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