LEXINGTON, Ky (June 4, 2008)- The University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture will host a field day, titled “Agriculture in a New Bioeconomy,” at its Spindletop Research Farm Thursday, June 12, at 2 p.m. The event will raise awareness about issues local producers and landowners are currently facing. This event is free and open to the public.

"Every four years, the Plant and Soil Science Department hosts a field day at UK's research farm north of Lexington. Our goal is to highlight research across a range of topics, and this year we are incorporating a special emphasis on equine research and horse pasture management,” Ray Smith, associate professor and forage extension specialist said.

Smith also heads up UK’s popular pasture evaluation program, a fee-based program that evaluates horse pastures around central Kentucky and provides detailed recommendations on how to maximize pasture production and use.

“The focus of the afternoon workshops is practical, hands-on learning. For example, during the pasture evaluation workshop, we will show you how to evaluate the status of your pasture and provide tips on pasture renovation and weed control,” said Smith. “We will also highlight how to build controlled stream crossings in horse pastures and practical methods for erosion control.” 

Along with workshops and clinics, the field day will host tours specific to interests in tobacco, equine, pest management and forage issues. The afternoon will kick off at 2 p.m. with registration and open exhibits. There will be two hour-long sessions of workshops and clinics. The first, at 3 p.m., covers topics including hay production; pasture evaluation for horses; setting depth for tobacco transplanters; corn growth and development; and invasive woody plant control methods. The second session begins at 4:30 p.m. and covers hay production; pasture evaluation for horses; assessing soil productivity for crops; weed identification and resistant weeds; and organic grain crop production.

The sessions will be followed by an evening equine tour at 6 p.m., which will highlight the majority of equine research currently being conducted within the College’s Department of

Animal and Food Sciences. Topics on the tour include horse nutrition research; variety testing for horse pastures; establishment of riparian zones on horse farms; mare and foal research; bermudagrass for summer pasture; and grazing horses on small acreage.

Concurrent to the evening tour, two rounds of hour-long field tours will also be conducted. The first, at 6 p.m. will include segments related to forage; tobacco; wheat for grain, forage and straw production; and pest management.  The second, at 7 p.m., will feature segments on forage; biofuels; corn production for livestock producers; and weed control in forage crops.

The Fayette County Cattlemen’s Association will be selling and serving meals from 5-7 p.m. during the tours and workshops. Before and after dinner, you can also visit the many displays and exhibits that will be set up around the area.

UK’s Spindletop research farm is located off of Iron Works Pike. From I-75 (North of Lexington): Take the Kentucky Horse Park exit (I-75 Exit 120) one mile past the Horse Park, follow field day signs. From I-64, I-75, or New Circle Road: Take the Newtown Pike exit (I-64/I-75 Exit 115) north to Iron Works Pike, turn left, follow signs.

If you have any questions or would like more information on this field day or the pasture evaluation program, please contact Smith at raysmith1@uky.edu or 859-257-3358.

Author: Savannah Faye Craddock
Contact: Ray Smith, 859-257-3358; Tom Keene, 859-257-3144