Native warm-season grasses (NWSG) can be a valuable addition to grazing livestock operations. Warm-season grasses include plants like big bluestem, eastern gamagrass, indiangrass, and switchgrass. These NWSG plants have deep roots so they can reach water and nutrients deep in the soil profile. They thrive when temperatures are between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They can provide high-quality forage and help fill the forage production gap during the hot, dry summer months when cool-season grasses,

like tall fescue, smooth bromegrass, orchardgrass and timothy, have gone dormant. They can also provide benefits to wildlife habitat.

Dr. Patrick Keyser, professor and director of the Center for Native Grasslands Management in Knoxville, Tenn., will be in Chillicothe on January 22, 2020 to talk about establishing NWSG as well as managing them for grazing and hay production. Rich Crowe, private lands conservationist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, will talk about Managing NWSG for Wildlife Conservation. Dave Johnson, district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will talk about NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and state cost-share programs that are available to enhance grazing management.

The program will be held at the Mildred Litton Community Center at 10780 LIV 235 located on Highway 190 approximately 1½ miles west of U.S. Highway 65 in Chillicothe. Doors open at 10 a.m., the program will begin at 10:30 and will conclude around 2:30 p.m. The program will include lunch and is free and open to the public.

Pre-registration is required by Jan. 17. Visit the website to register online. You may also register by emailing or calling 660-895-5123.

The program is sponsored by the NRCS+MU Grasslands Project and Missouri Department of Conservation. For more information, contact Valerie Tate, field specialist in Agronomy for MU Extension at or call 660-895-5123. MU Extension programs are open to all.

Valerie Tate, field specialist in Agronomy for MU Extension.