Grazing, does it work for you?

If you are a farmer who is looking for a management grazing plan that decreases erosion and runoff, provides a healthy living habitat for plants, reduces livestock feed costs to you and betters the health and performance of your animals, than rotation grazing is something that may be of interest to you. 

When planning to implement rotation grazing, the first step is to consider how many livestock will be grazing and how much forage will be needed. Have an alternative forage plan in case of there are times of low forage production in the pasture.

Scope out and put in place any management practices in areas of the pasture that run a high risk of soil erosion on banks.

Be observant when you have livestock on pastures. If you see that the amount of forage available for the animals is dwindling, then it is time to move the livestock to another sectioned off area of the pasture. Farmers also need to plan pasture rest periods (when there are no animals on the pasture) so the pasture has enough time to recover during the growing season.

To keep pastures healthy from the normal wear and tear of the livestock, famers should conduct regular soil testing and apply lime and fertilizer to the soil as needed.

Widely used in the Midwest, rotational grazing can work with any size of livestock. If rotational grazing sounds like something that may work for your farm talk with your local Natural Resources Conservation Service certified planner.

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