A University of Nebraska-Lincoln organic pasture walk featuring mob grazing and two organic farm tours will be offered in August.
The Aug. 19 pasture walk will begin at 9 a.m. at the Don and Pat Jirsa farm southeast of Milford (2040 Saltillo Rd). Don Jirsa will explain his pivot irrigated pasture and mob grazing system, while Terry Gompert, UNL Extension educator, will offer advice and answer questions about mob grazing.
The tour will move to the Welsch's West Blue Farm, a mile west and a half-mile south of Jirsa's farm.
The Welsch West Blue Farm is at 146 County Rd. 1900 in Saline County, just a half mile south of the West Blue Church. Participants will be able to view a dryland mob grazing system that uses portable fencing and watering systems, and hear helpful suggestions from Crete Lumber and Farm Supply.
Dave and Deb Welsch also will discuss 20 years of experience with direct marketing of beef and chickens.
Free lunch will be provided by the Welsch family followed by a tour of their organic ridge-tilled crops and alfalfa rotation.
The two organic crop and livestock tours will be Aug. 21 east of David City in Butler County. The first tour starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Larry Stanislav farm, 1.75 miles north of Abie.
Stanislav will explain his strip crop rotation, the use of buckwheat and field peas as cover crops and equipment used for mechanical weed control.
Participants also will be able to view UNL's weed flaming and nutrient management field plot studies of organic corn. Santiago Ulloa, UNL graduate student, will demonstrate UNL's new hooded weed flamer and answer questions.
At 3 p.m. participants will move to the second tour at the Ostry Family Farm (2281 Spur 12B Rd.) a half-mile northeast of Bruno on Spur 12B.
Mike Ostry will discuss his crop rotation and cover crops, experimentation with growing popcorn, equipment for weed control and a natural air flow bin storage system.
Participants also will be able to view results of the UNL weed flamer in an organic corn field plot.
The Ostrys have a direct marketing operation of chickens, turkeys, geese, hogs and cattle and an on-farm poultry processing facility.
A free dinner will be provided by the Ostry family at 5 p.m. followed by Czech entertainment by the Ostry Family Singers.
For more information about the tours, contact Dave Welsch at (402) 826-5361. Meals for both tours are free. Call or leave a message with Carol at the Nebraska Great Plains Resource Conservation and Development office at (402) 367-0510 to reserve a meal.
The pasture walks and farm tours are funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust and are sponsored by the Nebraska Great Plains and Five Rivers Resource Conservation and Development councils and the Organic Crop Improvement Association Nebraska Chapter 1.