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Southwest Missouri hay producers will have an opportunity to improve their hay making skills by attending a hay school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 14 at the Fair Grove Lions Club, 142 S. Orchard Blvd., Fair Grove.

“There is a lot at stake when making hay and many things to consider to make it worth the effort and to be profitable,” said Brie Menjoulet, University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist.

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Even on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, where average rainfall is a mere seven inches per year, farmers can reap the benefits of winter cover crops without the expense of irrigation, University of California research has found.

Growing a winter cover crop helps retain soil nitrogen – keeping it from leaching into groundwater – improves water infiltration, reduces runoff, increases soil organic matter and boosts long-term soil fertility.

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The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has just released its newest publication in support of 4R Nutrient Stewardship titled "4R Plant Nutrition: A Manual for Improving the Management of Plant Nutrition." The manual was released during the 2012 Great Plains Soil Fertility Conference and Nutrient Stewardship Summit both held in Denver, Colorado this March 5 to 7.

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031212_solar_tentsSolar tents can easily, inexpensively and successfully kill weed seeds and rhizomes, eliminating the need for hauling weeds out of remote areas where the unwanted plants have taken hold, a UC researcher has demonstrated.

Research by Jim Stapleton, a UC Cooperative Extension advisor based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, was published as "Feasibility of solar tents for inactivating weedy plant propagative material" in the March 2012 issue of the Journal of Pest Science.

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Cautious optimism seemed to be a common sentiment among the participants at the 2012 Southeast Hay Convention.

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