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

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The Impact of Grazing Cover Crops on Soil Health

Cover crops are typically used by producers in dryland no-till cropping systems to improve soil health, reduce soil compaction, enhance nutrient cycling, improve soil structure, and improve water infiltration. Producers may be able to realize some income from cover crops by grazing or haying them. But is this a good idea or will it cancel out any benefit the cover crops would otherwise have on soil properties and residue cover?


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Cattle grazing covers

Beef Specialist Offers Spring Grazing Tips

As fields start to green up from last fall’s cover crops, cattle producers can’t wait to get cows out of calving yards and onto fresh grass. Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, offers five tips when grazing cover crops.


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Nebraska Research Studying Benefits of Grass Restoration Amid Cropland

University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers are leading a study of how a targeted restoration of perennial grasses amid cropland could bring about a variety of benefits, ranging from reduction in water and fertilizer use to expansion of wildlife habitat to encouragement of new bioenergy industry. The four-year, $4 million project will be conducted on University of Nebraska research plots and 12 to 15 on-farm sites in the Republican River Basin in west central and western Nebraska, said Daren Redfearn, the Husker forage systems specialist leading the work. Read more in this article from the University of Nebraska.
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Small Bytes: Breaking Paradigms with Cover Crops

In this audio interview, hear from Steve Kenyon, a grower from Alberta, Canada, as he discusses how he uses cover crops in his custom grazing operation without owning land or livestock, how he's transitioned tilled cropland into pastures with perennial polycultures, what his goals are, and more.
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Sheep Grazing at Solar Sites Improves Soil Quality

Research conducted in Minnesota over the past two years points to many beneficial aspects of grazing sheep at ground-mounted solar projects. Research partners MNL, Temple University, Enel and NREL have collected data in the past from the Aurora project which highlights potential benefits in soil health, water quality, stormwater control and pollinator habitat creation. Read more in this article from Solar Power World.
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[Podcast] Grazing Beef Cattle on Cover Crops Provides Economic Returns

This week’s podcast, sponsored by Montag Manufacturing, features Dan Shike, Associate Professor, Animal Science, University of Illinois. Shike will discuss the benefits cover crop grazing can offer livestock producers, the planning needed to incorporate covers into a beef operation, how grazing cover crops affects soil health, and more.

This week’s podcast, sponsored by Montag Manufacturing, features Dan Shike, Associate Professor, Animal Science, University of Illinois. Shike will discuss the benefits cover crop grazing can offer livestock producers, the planning needed to incorporate covers into a beef operation, how grazing cover crops affects soil health, and more.


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Winter Cereals Are a Forage Option

The drought of 2021 left many ranchers short of feed, both grazing forage and hay. A great option for spring grazing or hay production is winter cereals. Read this article from North Dakota State University.
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EVENTS

Live

2022 National Strip-Tillage Conference

7/28/22 7:00 am to 7/29/22 11:59 pm CST
Hyatt Regency Coralville Hotel & Conference Center
300 E 9th St.
Coralville, IA
United States

Discover 2-days of cutting-edge ideas, techniques and strategies in Coralville, Iowa., July 28-29. Join the most innovative, forward-thinking minds in strip-till to raise your level of strip-till profitability, efficiency and efficacy.

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Join top strip-tillers, agronomists and researchers for 2 days of unrivaled learning and networking!

Attend the 2022 National Strip-Tillage Conference in Iowa City, Iowa, July 28-29, and discover cutting-edge ideas, techniques and strategies from the most innovative, forward-thinking minds in strip-till to raise your level of strip-till profitability, efficiency and efficacy. 

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