North Carolina plans forage meets Got grass? Then don't miss upcoming grazing schools scheduled for Nov. 29-30 at Reidsville, N.C., and Dec. 13-14 at Goldsboro, N.C.

This has been one of the best years most producers remember for growing grass. If you don't have a lot of grass for grazing this winter you need to improve fertility or grazing management.

If you do have an abundance of grass it is a great time to learn about how to stretch that grass supply to reduce hay feeding this winter and reduce your winter feeding costs.

Either way, attending a North Carolina Grazing School would be a great benefit to your operation.

The grazing school program was started about five years ago and since that time we have trained over 300 students in a variety of schools for producers, Extension agents and soil conservationists, university students and veterinarians.

Everywhere we go we hear good things about the program, and when we visit former students it's a joy to see the way they have adopted controlled grazing and improved forage management in their operations.

The first grazing school this fall is scheduled at the Upper Mountain research Station at Reidsville on Nov. 29-30 and the second at the Center for Environmental farming Systems at Goldsboro on Dec. 13-14. Both these schools will stress using strip-grazing to allocate stockpiled forage during the winter.

Students will manage groups of cattle, making decisions on how to ration out the grass, and we will also have classroom time to learn the basics of how to produce and utilize forage.

Times ahead are bright for the cattle business, but don't ever forget that the highest cost in any operation is feed, and most producers could save $100 or more per cow by improving forage and feeding management.

Now is the time to make the management changes needed to be profitable in the future.

The school at Reidsville in November should be a good one as Joe French and the station staff have recently set up a piped water system and cross-fencing to establish a controlled grazing program.

Students will be interested to hear how controlled grazing has worked on one of the oldest purebred Angus operations in the state.

CEFS in Goldsboro is the site of the Eastern North Carolina Beef Cattle Project, and is the home to a commercial beef herd being managed as a demonstration of controlled grazing and other recommended beef production practices for Coastal Plain operations.

If you are serious about cattle and forage production you need to take this opportunity. There is a charge of $50 per student which includes lunches and educational materials.