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Schmidt: Grazing readiness progress of key species in Pierce County

By Staff | May 5, 2017

In North Dakota, most cool-season native range grasses typically reach grazing readiness in mid to late May, which is the recommended time to begin grazing native range. Domesticated grass pastures, such as crested wheatgrass and smooth brome, reach grazing readiness two to four weeks earlier than native range, permitting grazing in late April to early May.

Basing grazing readiness on calendar dates may be the right decision in some years, but due to the variability of spring temperatures and growing conditions, the calendar date method may not always match the recommended growth development stage of native and tame grass species.

Grazing too early can lead to a shortage of forage during the second half of the growing season which can reduce stocking rate and animal performance.

For a map of counties participating in the NDSU Extension Service project to monitor grazing readiness, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2017/april-10-2017/determine-grazing-readiness-prior-to-pasture-turnout

Youth Pizza Garden

This summer the Pierce County Extension office will be offering an opportunity for youth to learn about where food comes from and what is involved in producing it via a Pizza garden.

The pizza garden will be located at the Prairie Village Museum and will contain 10 wedge-shaped raised beds arranged in a circle to mimic the slices of a big pizza. Youth and their families will help plant and maintain a variety of the vegetables and herbs typically used as toppings on a pizza.

Beginning June 8th, seven biweekly sessions (June 8, 22; July 6, 20; August 10, 24; September 7) will be conducted throughout the growing season where participants will take part in short classroom lessons and garden activities related to soil properties, plant parts, pollinators and other garden insects, plant genetics, nutrition, and food safety.

At the end of the summer, youth will share their gardening knowledge with family members at a pizza- party family night where they will get to make individual pizzas using vegetables and herbs grown by the youth in the pizza garden.

All youth 5 years of age and older are welcome to participate. Youth under 12 years of age must have one chaperone for every 3 youth participating and chaperone must remain with and assist youth with program. Sessions will run rain or shine. Registration by June 1st is required as spots are limited. There is no fee to participate.

Contact the Pierce County Extension office at 776-6234 ext. 5 or yolanda.schmidt@ndsu.edufor more information on either of this week’s topics.

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