Poisonous plants, rangeland grasses focus of upcoming workshop

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Diane Prather

Poisonous Plants and New Developments in Rangeland Grasses is an informative workshop scheduled for Feb. 3 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.

“Larkspur kills more cattle than any other poisonous plant in the Western United States,” said C.J. Mucklow, Northwest Colorado Extension Agent.

The upcoming workshop will address the latest research findings on larkspur and other poisonous plants, too, such as locoweed. Some of the poisonous plants can affect pets, as well as livestock.

But that’s not all.

Mucklow said the workshop also will provide valuable information on integrating the more fire resistant forage plants, such as kochia, into cheatgrass-dominated grasslands in the Western United States.

According to a brochure of information about the workshop, “The USDA Agriculture Research Service Poisonous Plant Lab and Forage and Range Research Laboratory are the premier research facilities across the West, and will be the highlight of the workshop.”

Mucklow said the labs, located in Logan, Utah, are associated with Utah State University.

All of the speakers for the workshop will be doctorate researchers.

The workshop is appropriate for producers, private landowners, land management personnel and veterinarians. It will highlight the most recent research and management alternatives for Western grasslands.

The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 3 with registration, followed by a welcome and introductions.

At 10:15 a.m., the presentations will begin with “Larkspur Toxicity and Geographic Distribution of Toxic and Less-Toxic Populations.” Daniel Cook will be the speaker.

After, there will be a Kim Pfister presentation about “Animal and Range Management to Reduce Losses to Larkspur.”

After a lunch break, Kip Panter will speak about two topics: “Introduction to the Poisonous Plant Laboratory’s Mission and Research,” and “Other Troublesome Toxic Plants To Colorado, Including Locoweeds.”

From 2 to 4 p.m., the focus will be on rangeland grasses.

Craig Rigby will present “New Developments in Rangeland Grasses,” followed by “Native Grass Materials for Rangeland Production” by Tom Jones.

Researcher Justin Williams will discuss “Integrated Management Strategies to Re-Establish Desirable Plants on Cheatgrass-Dominated Rangelands.”

The workshop will end with “Forage Kochia: Livestock, Wildlife, Reclam­ation and Wildfire Uses.” Rob Smith will be the speaker.

The workshop promises to be a day packed with valuable information.

Sponsors for the workshop are Colorado State University Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Poisonous Plant Lab and Forage Research, Research Service and USDA Agriculture.

The workshop fee is $20 per person, which includes workshop materials and lunch. The late registration fee is $25 per person for registration received (not postmarked) after Thursday. No lunch or materials are guaranteed on late registrations.

The workshop is subject to cancelation if fewer than 15 people have registered to attend by Thursday, so get your registration in right away.

Payment for the workshop can be made by check, cashier’s check or money order payable to the Routt County Treasurer.

There are several ways you can register: mail, fax or by visiting the Routt County Extension Office at 136 Sixth St., in Steamboat Springs. The mailing address is P.O. Box 772830, Steamboat Springs, 80477. The fax number is 970-870-5383.

For more information, call the Routt County Extension Office at 970-879-0825. A registration form and workshop information can be found online at http://rcex

tension.colostate.edu.

Click on the “workshop” link.

The same workshop also is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Grand Junction.

For more information, and to register for this alternative date, call Becky at Delta Extension Office at 970-874-2192.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2010.

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