UK Pasture Evaluation Work Showcased at Rangeland Congress

The program staff have performed 160 pasture evaluations, representing more than 30,000 acres, in 20 Kentucky counties.
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UK Pasture Evaluation Work Showcased at Rangeland Congress
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse
University of Kentucky (UK) Horse Pasture Evaluation Program coordinator Krista Lea, MS, and forage extension specialist Ray Smith, PhD, traveled to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in July to attend the 10th International Rangeland Congress.

While at the weeklong meeting, they presented an overview of the UK Horse Pasture Evaluation Program, including summaries of data collected over the last 11 years of the program. This information was well-received and could serve as a template for several similar programs being explored around the world.

Other data presented from UK included Switchgrass for Biomass work and the impacts of the National Forage Bowl Contest on student careers. In addition to showcasing their work, Smith and Lea attended several educational sessions that yielded information transferable to Kentucky, including Extension and technology transfer and controlling invasive species.

The UK Horse Pasture Evaluation Program began in 2005 as part of the Equine Initiative (now UK Ag Equine Programs) to develop stronger ties with Kentucky’s equine industry. To date, program staff have performed 160 evaluations representing more than 30,000 acres in 20 Kentucky counties. The program’s goals are to provide detailed pasture management recommendations to horse farm owners and managers; improve pastureland by increasing forage quality and quantity, therefore reducing the need for stored feeds such as hay and grain; and assess the potential risk of fescue toxicity for pregnant broodmares on pasture. The program is available to horse farms across the state regardless of farm size, breed, or discipline. Find more information at https://equine.ca.uky.edu/horsepastures

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