Hay bales

Denton County AgriLife Extension’s 2021 hay clinic is set for Sept. 24.

This is a great time for producers to sign up for our annual hay clinic on Sept. 24. The program will be held in-person at the North Texas Fairground at the Fair Hall building. This hay clinic will be very educational for landowners and producers.

Zimmerer Kubota will have equipment for participants to see onsite. Speakers for the event will be Dr. Ron Gill, Extension Beef cattle specialist, discussing hay quality and feeding beef cattle, and Kelly Pike from Winfield Solutions will give a presentation on managing weeds and insect pests in hayfields. One continuing education unit (CEU) will be given to pesticide applicators.

The cost for the program is $10 and includes a catered barbecue dinner and a chance at multiple door prizes. Sponsors for the event include Denton County Farm Bureau, Zimmerer Kubota, Dennis’ Farm Store, First United, West Seed, Kelsoe Oil and Winfield United.

Part of the hay clinic program includes free hay testing, sponsored by the Noble Research Institute, to allow for producers to check and see the quality of this year’s hay and even compare different cuttings to see which hay is the best. The test results will give producers protein content, total digestible nutrients and feeding recommendations for livestock.

Hay production is an approved practice for agricultural use exemptions in Denton County. Denton County has over 50,000 acres of farm land that is used for hay production, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Most hay produced for horses each year is highly fertilized bermudagrass while cattle and other livestock hay can vary between nonnatives like bermudagrass, johnsongrass, and natives like bluestems and indiangrass. Quality of the hay depends on what cutting it is, first, second or third, and the timing of the cutting related to the maturity of the grass. Premium hay is cut between 28-35 days if there are ideal nutrients and moisture.

To find out more information about this program visit our Facebook page: Denton County Agriculture and Natural Resources. Updates on registration will be announced here and on our website. For other questions, you can call the county Extension office at 940-349-2894.

ZACH DAVIS is the agriculture and natural resources extension agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. He can be reached at 940-349-2889 or via email at zadavis@ag.tamu.edu.