By Kristen Ulmer, Nebraska Extension Educator and Mary Drewnoski, UNL Beef Systems Specialist

A conference on how to “Capture Value in Cropping Systems using Cattle,” will be held Wednesday, April 4, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at ENREC (formerly ARDC) near Mead. Pre-register online by March 30 at: For questions, contact Nebraska Extension in Saunders County at (402) 624-8030 or

Nebraska Extension has developed a unique learning and networking opportunity for cattle operators and cropping individuals. The day will feature UNL graduate students, research and extension personnel working on the projects, as well as, first-hand insight from producers utilizing cover crops as forages in their cropping rotation in eastern Nebraska.

Program topics will include:
* The UNL Beef Systems Initiative: can we sustainably produce more with the same resources?
* Nitrate toxicity: what is the potential when grazing cover crops?
* Oats planted after high moisture corn or silage: how much grazing can we get?
* Using triticale for spring grazing in soybean systems?
* Grazing rye planted in corn and soybean systems: how do the cattle and crops perform?

There are many challenges and opportunities when trying to decipher how to utilize cover crops as forages and graze cattle in a traditional cropping system. Speakers will touch on the economics, cover crop species selection, grazing management and more.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Beef Systems Specialist Mary Drewnoski says, “Using cover crops and crop residues as forage sources can be cost effective for the cattle producer and increase revenue from cropland. This field day will discuss the opportunities and challenges of integrating cattle into cropping systems in eastern NE.”

Crop producer north of ENREC cooperating on the rye grazing study, Angela Knuth says, “We are really excited to be working with Mary and her team to explore the opportunities bringing cattle back onto the land can offer. Working with Mary, we hope to prove that a diversified cropping rotation along with grazing is both good for the cattle and the bottom line of the cattle producer and landowner.”

There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided for those who pre-register online.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln