A Delta area soil conservation researcher

A Delta area soil conservation researcher, Dan Ihnot, adjusts irrigation water to one of the 34 grass species located in the Tri-River Extension service demo pasture plot on the Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss. The plot team is holding an open house Friday. 

No matter whether you are trying to establish a new pasture, renovate old rangeland, of just get better yields, you really want to take the time to visit the Forage Establishment, Renovation and Management Demonstration plot open house Friday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Delta County Fairgrounds in Hotchkiss.

The plot is the creation of the Tri-River Colorado State University (CSU) extension service. The project consists of 17 species of irrigated grasses and 17 species of dryland grasses, all of which are especially suited to the climate and soils found on the Western Slope. The demonstration shows the most successful methods of planting, irrigation and cultivation. The grass varieties have varying uses for everything from cattle grazing to erosion control to wildlife habitat management.

Visitors also can take a self-guided tour, learning a large number of subjects like growth habit, season of use, salt tolerance, recovery rate, drought tolerance and many more.

Staff members and experts in soil, irrigation, and other disciplines will be on hand to talk with landowners and farm and ranch managers about their grass and soil issues. Besides the walking tours, there are also booths with hands-on displays and researchers with whom to talk.

The plot is a joint effort involving the CSU Tri-River Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service, Delta County, Delta County Soil Conservation District and the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts.

“The open house is an event where both large and small acreage owners can get answers and see the results of extension service’s work,” said Kelsi Seymour of the Tri-River Extension office.

Seymour also said open house participants will be able to demo rangeland monitoring apps that help users interpret soil and plant signs in landscapes in order to make better management decisions. Visitors may also observe a soil-texturing demonstration that landowners can use to assess their own soils, ask local experts specific questions and discuss the best options to help you meet your agricultural and natural resources management objectives.

The plot is on the fairgrounds near the river in Hotchkiss.

Michael A. Cox is a Montrose-based content provider. He may be reached at michaelc@agwriter.us

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