Virginia Cooperative Extension will host the 2019 Valley Beef Conference on Dec. 12. The conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative on 180 Oakwood Drive in Rockingham, Virginia.

The major focus of the program is the use of corn silage in beef operations, both for calves over winter and as base ration for cow herds. The conference will include in-depth presentations on the nutritional, agronomic, and economic considerations that must be taken into account when using corn silage. 

The featured speaker for the program is Tara Felix, a beef Extension specialist at Pennsylvania State University who specializes in ruminant nutrition. Felix will address the nutritional impacts of feeding corn silage to weaned and backgrounded calves to maximize gain at an affordable cost. 

The program will also feature a presentation by Wade Thomason on the agronomic factors of growing not only corn silage but also small grains for feedstuffs as part of a crop rotation. Thomason is a professor and Extension grains specialist for Virginia Tech. Part of his Extension program includes coordinating the annual Virginia Tech Corn Silage and Grain On-Farm test plots.

Also on the program is Gonzalo Ferreira, an Extension dairy management specialist at Virginia Tech. Ferreira will present on the harvest, management, and feeding factors of corn silage.  

Finally, the program will address beef cow herd reproductive performance with a presentation by Vitor Mercadante on the impact of weaning date and calf age on cow (dam) body condition score and subsequent reproductive performance. Mercadante is a beef Extension specialist for Virginia Tech.

Registration is $15 per person. To register, or for any questions, please call the Augusta Extension Office at 540-245-5750, or email John Benner at benner89@vt.edu. Registration is required by Dec. 9. Parking for the meeting will be in the designated area behind the fence at the complex.

For those with a disability who desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact John Benner at the Augusta Extension Office five days prior to the event at 540-245-5750 *(TDD number is 800-828-1120) during the business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations.