Participants Gain Knowledge at Recent Beef Cattle & Forages Workshop
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Thirteen participants from Alamance, Orange, and Chatham Counties gathered on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at Hawfields Cattle Company in Haw River, NC for the Beef Cattle & Forages Workshop.
Travis and Sarah Covington, owners of Hawfields Cattle Company greeted everyone with a farm introduction. The Covington’s went on to explain about the various enterprises they are involved in which lead them to talking about custom grazing options. They raise purebred Highland cattle, commercial cattle, and finish cattle for beef.
Next, participants walked out into the pasture to take a look at summer annuals such as crabgrass. They learned how summer annuals are working on the Covington’s farm to provide summer grazing and to help renovate land. Lauren Langley, Livestock Extension Agent went through the pros and cons of summer annuals, toxicity concerns, and pests.
The Covingtons set up their farm to do rotational grazing with the help of cost-share funding and a grant from NC AgVentures. They have strategically placed automatic waterers around their farm so they can water each paddock when moving cattle around their farm in order to rest their pastures. Rotational grazing is planned rest for the forage and is critical in order to have productive pastures. Lauren explained more about how to get started with rotational grazing and grant opportunities with everyone.
To end the workshop, participants were able to view a bud box design. Lauren explained to everyone that a bud box is usually 20 ft. deep by 12 ft. wide and works off of the flight zone of the cattle and their instinct to turn around. It is a low-cost, low-stress way of handling a small herd of docile cattle. The cattle are loaded into the bud box and the handler positions themselves so the cattle turn around and go back where they came from and from there they find the alleyway to the chute. Watch a short video on the bud box.
Participants stated that they learned a lot from the topics discussed and are making plans to try some of it themselves. It was a perfect evening for an on-farm workshop, we hope you will join us at the next one!
Missed out on this workshop? Be sure to have your email address added to our monthly Livestock email newsletter to receive upcoming events and timely information by contacting Lauren Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org.