Welcome to the Master Grazer Educational Program

-an educational program to improve grazing practices in beef, dairy, goat and sheep herds


Grazing News Articles

Articles on forages, animals, and grazing systems

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Master Grazer Educational Program reports to KY Ag Development Fund Board:

2016 Third Quarter Report
2016 Second Quarter Report
2016 First Quarter Report
2015-2016 Bi-Annual Report
2013-2014 Bi-annual Report
2012 Annual Accomplishments
2011 Annual Accomplishments




Zach Workman

Master Grazer Coordinator
821B W.P. Garrigus Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
(859) 257-7512
E-mail: zewo222@uky.edu

Faculty Coordinators:

Dr. Ray Smith

Extension Forage Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-3358
Fax: (859) 323-1952  
Email: raysmith1@uky.edu

Dr. Donna Amaral-Phillips

Extension Dairy Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-7542
Fax: (859) 257-7537  
Email: damaral@uky.edu

Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler

Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-2853
Fax: (859) 257-3412  
Email: jeff.lehmkuhler@uky.edu


Possibility of Nitrate Toxicity in Corn

September 2011 Article



Nitrate toxicity may be a problem for farmers grazing corn or feeding green-chop this fall. There are many factors to consider when deciding if livestock are at risk of nitrate toxicity. Drought conditions and high levels of nitrogen in the soil can cause prime conditions for high nitrates in plants. During times of drought, higher levels of nitrogen are taken up by the plants. Risk is increased if soil nitrogen levels are high. High levels of nitrates in the bloodstream and rumen reduce the ability of oxygen to be carried in the blood to tissues in the body. Symptoms of nitrate toxicity include brown color of blood and mucous membranes, depression, weakness, staggering, incoordination, excess salivation, abortion, and possibly death.

Sorghum, sudangrass, sorghum-sudan hybrids, Johnson grass, corn, millet, and some weeds have a higher risk of nitrates than other forages. If grazing corn this fall, farmers need to be aware of possible nitrate toxicity problems. Nitrate concentration is highest in the lower parts of the stalks.

When used for silage, corn’s nitrate levels are reduced through the fermentation process. Feeding these crops as hay does not reduce nitrate levels. If corn or silage is questionable, always test it for nitrate content before using it as a feed source. Contact your local county extension agent for information on testing your forages for nitrate content.