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Landowner's Grassland Planting and Management School Set
South Dakota Ag Connection - 06/21/2018

Recognizing the need to help landowners and managers better understand the art and science of grassland establishment, SDSU Extension partnered with the S.D. Grassland Coalition and others to develop and launch the Landowner's Grassland Planting & Management School.

"South Dakota's ranchers and farmers often find that planting, establishing and managing native grassland plantings can be challenging. Weather, soil conditions, timing, weed issues and agency program rules can dramatically affect the success or failure of a long-term grass establishment project," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

Bauman explained there are many factors that impact grassland establishment. "Environmental issues, seed sources, planting techniques and stand management all play an important role in successes and failures," he said.

All these factors will be covered during the Landowner's Grassland Planting & Management School held July 25-27 in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.)

Students will begin the day with classroom instruction by local practitioners, with bus field trips to a variety of grasslands in the afternoon.

In addition to SDSU Extension, organizations involved in developing this school include the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Audubon Dakota, Pheasants Forever, S.D. Soil Health Coalition, S.D. Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and others.

Registration for the School is $180, which includes meals, materials and a one-year membership to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Registration is only $150 for current Grassland Coalition members.

For a complete agenda and to register, call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Watertown at 605-882-5140.

Key features of this school will be an equipment session and field tours with visits to demonstration sites featuring planting, management, forage production, restoration, wildlife and pollinators.

School topics will cover goal setting, grassland history and ecology, grassland soil health, seeding into cropland, seeding into existing sod, choosing seed mixes, agency program support, planning your project, planting and stand establishment, tame and native stand maintenance, fertilization, grass-based enterprises, prescribed fire use, and drought management among other topics.

"As landowners, the board members of the S.D. Grassland Coalition recognize that private and publicly owned native, tame, and conservation grasslands are important to our livestock, agriculture, hunting, and tourism industries," said Judge Jessop, Coordinator for the S.D. Grassland Coalition. "This course will be modeled after the successful platform of the S.D. Grassland Coalition's annual Grazing School and the SD Soil Health Coalition's annual Soil Health School. Often, landowners or managers who attend the grazing or soil health schools still have a lot of questions about establishing and maintaining grasslands, and this school is designed to meet those needs."

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