The Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council will conduct its third annual bus tour — “On the Road to Better Forages” — on Friday, April 23, featuring forages and conservation practices in southwest Arkansas.

The tour will begin and end at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope, Ark., part of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“The bus tour has been very successful and well-received by producers, so we are moving it around the state to highlight successful forage operations,” said Matt Flynt, president of the Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council.

The tour includes stops at:

• A 250-cow/calf operation using rotational grazing and stockpiled bermudagrass to reduce hay feeding to 60 days or less per year. The producer works to keep operating costs down, but maintains cattle nutrition and a high calving rate by maintaining a good seasonal forage program along with balanced supplementation.

• A stocker calf operation that uses clover and ryegrass overseeded on bermuda as the forage base. Up to 14 pastures are rotationally grazed and each pasture has access to water tanks and a pipeline water system from a pond. Hay feeding is kept to a minimum by using the forage and grazing combination.

• Effective forage management on blackland soil as well as conservation benefits of native grasses will be featured on other tour stops.

• The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Center to highlight the center’s conservation work.

“Top ag economists are saying that forages are becoming more and more valuable for putting weight on calves before sale due to high grain prices,” said John Jennings, professor-forage, for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. “This tour will focus on effective forage use in grazing systems and should have something of interest for anyone interested in forages.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at the SWREC at Hope and buses will depart at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided during the tour.

Registration is $35 and $15 for spouses or students. Registration includes membership in the Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council, affiliate membership in the American Forage and Grassland Council, sponsor exhibits, and lunch.

For more details contact an AFGC board member or call John Jennings, AFGC secretary, at (501) 671-2350.