Speakers have been announced for the 88th annual Lawrence County Soils and Crops Conference, slated for Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012 at the University of Missouri's Southwest Research Center near Mt. Vernon.
The conference provides researchers and business leaders offering cutting edge information on agriculture and how to succeed as a producer.
A panel of local ranchers will discuss their experience in managing the problem of the endophyte fungus in fescue. Researchers have been advocating a switch to a novel form of fescue grass without the harmful endophyte, which causes constriction in the vascular systems of cattle, prompting them to stand in ponds because they are unable to vent the heat in the bodies. Hard to replace, fescue remains the most popular feed grass in the area because of its resilience in summer heat, partly because of the endophyte.
Mike Collins, interim superintendent at the Southwest Research Center, will make two presentations. Collins will provide a general update on operations at the center and speak about improving forage harvest using balage.
Agronomy specialist Tim Schnakenberg will discuss getting a forage crop to recover following a drought.
The session will also include a message from the Lawrence County Commission on the county's financial picture.
A ribeye steak dinner will be provided free of charge by the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Mid-Missouri Bank of Mt. Vernon, Ozark Electric Cooperative and the Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association. Reservations for the dinner are necessary and can be made by calling 417-466-3102 by Jan. 2, 2012.
The conference is made possible by the Lawrence County Extension Council, the Lawrence County Commission and the University of Missouri Extension Service.