The Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council (PFGC) was formed in 1960 and includes individuals and organizations interested in forage and grassland based agriculture. Each year, PFGC recognizes outstanding members for their achievements. Individuals were recognized at the 2018 Pennsylvania Forage Conference held in February.
The Forage Professional award was given to Andrew Frankenfield and Dwane Miller of the Penn State Extension Hay Team. Forage crops educators Frankenfield and Miller are responsible for developing the Penn State Extension hay workshops. The workshops are coordinated and delivered in conjunction with the local extension educator and state forage specialist. The agenda has evolved over the years, but the current focus is on soil fertility, weed control, minimizing dry matter loss, reducing drying time, baleage cost of production, bale handling, forage testing and marketing. Since 2014, nearly 300 participants have attended one of the workshops and 100 percent of the respondents indicated that attending the program resulted in a positive cash impact on their operation.
The forage producer award was given to Robert Reed of Danville, Montour County. Reed grew up on a Century Farm where his family milked Holsteins and Jerseys and grew corn and hay. After college, Reed inherited the farm and currently grows corn, soybeans, grain and hay. Reed focuses on growing timothy, orchardgrass and alfalfa, part of which is sold to a broker for racehorses. Orchardgrass is sold to both local and long-distance livestock owners and also sold at auction. Reed says growing an orchardgrass-alfalfa mix has been successful and allowed him to get more cuttings and improve the quality of forage for customers. Reed also focuses on the implementation of environmentally friendly forage management including erosion control, no-till drilling and cover cropping on grain fields. Reed is a long-time supporter and class winner of the Pennsylvania Hay Show at Ag Progress Days.
The Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council sponsors the Pennsylvania Hay Show every year at Ag Progress Days. In 2017, there were 87 hay entries. In the past there were three sections, now reduced to two. Section one is field-cured hay, section two is heat or mechanically dried, with or without preservatives.
The grand champion for section one is David Sollenberger of Williamsburg, Blair County who exhibited alfalfa, later cutting. The analysis for Sollenberger’s entry was 23.4 percent crude protein, 40.2 percent ADF and 54.3 percent NDF.
The grand champion for section two is Dennis Newhard of Nazareth, Northampton County, who also exhibited alfalfa, later cutting. The analysis for Newhart’s entry was 24.2 crude protein, 33.5 percent ADF and 43.6 percent NDF.
Among the many benefits of being a member of the Pennsylvania Forage and Grassland Council is the picnic held during Ag Progress Days. The event also includes a forage tour at the university where members can see the latest research and development in forage and grazing.
For more information about PFGC, visit www.afgc.org/pennsylvania.php.