To better introduce Virginia landowners to the benefits of native warm grasses and the procedure for
establishing a viable stand, the Conservation Management Institute
are coordinating a series of landowner
outreach meetings around Virginia. These meeting are open and free to the public for anyone with an
interest in potentially establishing warm season grasses on their property. Participants will learn
information about warm season grasses and their cash crop potential. The workshop will include information
on financial incentive programs to assist landowners with the establishment of productive warm season
grass stands. Handouts will be provided and time reserved at the end for a question and answer session.
Conservation Management Institute
The outreach meetings cover a number of topics, including:
- Potential uses warm season grasses such as forage, wildlife habitat, biomass, stream side and agricultural buffers, and poultry bedding;
- Establishment and Management techniques used to ensure proper germination including burning, disking, and intensive grazing;
- Planting considerations such as time of year, seed handling, soil temperature and weed competition which play an important role in establishing a viable stand of warm season grasses;
- Cost Share Programs will be discussed to explain the benefits, cost share potential, and restrictions associated with a variety of programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation. At each outreach meeting the local representative of NRCS and DCR are invited to explain how each cost share program works, the procedure for enrollment, and to answer any other questions participants may have;
- Management strategies focus on how to maintain a healthy stand of warm season grasses. Topics range from stand management, ideal grazing rotations, thatch removal, and harvest schedules for hay or bioenergy use; and
- Question and Answer - This is typically the time that attendants questions are answered to help them determine if warm season grasses are suitable for their needs and land.