Grazing

Grazing cover crops can be a very profitable enterprise for cover crop users who are willing to do the management. This topic provides strategies for cover crop grazing and real-world examples with farmers and ranchers who are making the practice work on their farm. Grazing cover crops has the potential to improve not only animal health but soil health as well.

ARTICLES

University of Maryland Eastern Shore Researching Cover Crops & Livestock Grazing

The university, in partnership, with the University of California at Davis; University of Minnesota; The Organic Center in Washington, D.C.; and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland, were collectively awarded a nearly $1 million grant to “investigate the benefits of livestock integration through cover-crop grazing on bacterial population dynamics, food safety, and soil and environmental health,” said Dr. Fawzy Hashem, a research associate professor in the university’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences. Read more in this article from Lancaster Farming.
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Tips for Developing a Cover Crop Grazing Lease

As ranchers continue with the struggle to find more grazing land to expand their livestock operations, more are looking into growing cover crops for grazing or renting cover crop land from neighboring farmers. Greg Rasmussen started planting cover crops on a piece of farm ground north of Boelus, Neb., several years ago, in an effort to stop soil erosion and improve soil health. Read more in this article from The Fence Post.
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Livestock Grazing on Cover Crops Improves Soil Health

In 2016, Shawn Freeland to make a difficult decision. The 45-year-old Caputa, S.D., rancher attended a Grassland Coalition Grazing School. In addition to reducing his stocking density on rangeland, he no-till drilled a diverse cover crop mix on irrigated hay acres. Read more in this article from Farm Forum (Aberdeen, SD).
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Haying & Grazing Prevented Planting Acres

There is a lot of interest in haying or grazing a cover crop planted on prevented planting acres. This is mostly the result of projected lower yielding 2020 hay production due to a late freeze and current dry conditions. Read more in this article from AgWeek.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Choose Cover Crop Goals First

Chris Reynolds, certified crop advisor and resource conservationist from Illinois discusses why species choice is important when analyzing covers, how to determine planting dates for cover crops, when growers should start thinking about covers in the season, and more.
Chris Reynolds, certified crop advisor and resource conservationist from Illinois discusses why species choice is important when analyzing covers, how to determine planting dates for cover crops, when growers should start thinking about covers in the season, and more.
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Prevented Planting Provides Opportunity for Livestock Forage

Challenging harvest conditions in the fall of 2019 in combination with excess moisture and cool temperatures this spring have inhibited spring planting, resulting in above normal acres of prevented planting. In addition, many livestock producers in the region are short on forage due to harvest challenges in 2019 and delayed pasture readiness this spring.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Grazing Systems Need Soil Health Improvement Too

Grazing systems can also gain from the soil health benefits offered by cover crops, according to Matt Poore, Extension Livestock Coordinator and Ruminant Nutrition Specialist with North Carolina State University.
Grazing systems can also gain from the soil health benefits offered by cover crops, according to Matt Poore, Extension Livestock Coordinator and Ruminant Nutrition Specialist with North Carolina State University. In this podcast, Poore discusses using annuals to improve soil health in grazing systems for livestock.
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Prevent Plant Ideas for Cover Crops

Options for cover crops after a June harvest of 2019 corn with anticipated crop in 2021 being soybeans. If you have livestock, then the options are limitless and focusing on including a cool season grass (oats or barley), warm season grass (sorghum), cool season legume (peas) and cool season broadleaf (radish) could work really well. Read more in this article from AgWeek.
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Attend the 2020 Virtual National Strip-Tillage Conference

Join the most innovative, forward-thinking strip-till farmers, agronomists and researchers today at the 7th annual National Strip-Tillage Conference being held 100% online, August 6-8, 2020. Discover practical cover cropping techniques and hundreds of proven ideas to boost your strip-till yields and save on input costs.

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