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Field day on perennial grasses for bioenergy production

STARBUCK -- A field day in August at Prairie Horizons Farm near Starbuck will feature research on perennial plant diversity and biomass production.

The event is scheduled from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Aug. 18 at Prairie Horizons Farm, 29731 302nd St., Starbuck. Rural Advantage and the University of Minnesota Extension, along with Prairie Horizons Farm, the Land Stewardship Project and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service Soils Lab, will host.

Prairie Horizons Farm, the Agricultural Research Service and University of Minnesota-Morris are working on a research project comparing harvest and fertilizer effects on perennial plant diversity and production. Research at the farm also addresses the nitrogen availability under different perennial management systems in order to understand and develop systems for optimal biomass production.

A tour of the grasslands and pasture at the farm will also be available. Rural Advantage will present information on the work with perennial third crops and third generation biofuels. Attendees will also learn about the Land Stewardship's Chippewa 10% Project. This is an outdoor event, please dress accordingly.

The Land Stewardship Project will offer buses to take people to Prairie Horizons Farm following the annual field day at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service North Central Soil Conservation Research lab at Morris.

If interested in attending that field day, this year's theme is "Sustainable Landscapes: Food, Feed, Fuel, and the Future."

That event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a complimentary lunch. Buses to Prairie Horizons Farm will leave the Soils Lab at 1 p.m. and return around 4 p.m. For more information on the field day, call 320-589-3411 or visit www.ars.