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

[Video] Sorghum for Cover Crops & Forage

Kim Cassida, Forages & Grazing Educator with Michigan State University Extension, discusses the three ways to use cover crops as forage, why sorghum works particularly well as a forage and cover crop, which species have the most dry matter yields as a forage crop, and more.
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Winter Rye Cover Crops Make Excellent Forage

Winter rye can be used as a cover crop after corn silage to protect against soil erosion, and in parts of Wisconsin is recommended by conservation planners. Properly managed, it has multiple uses and benefits beyond conservation, including forage production, nutrient management and weed suppression. Read more in this article from Wisconsin State Farmer.
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Adding Organic ‘Muscle’ to Soils with an Aggressive Cover Cropping Routine

By mixing and matching cover crop varieties, Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz have boosted soil health and improved organic matter by up to 3 points in 10 years.
Change is never easy. Sometimes, it can be just flat-out painful. Third-generation farmers Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz have been implementing big changes on their farm near Redwood Falls, Minn., for the past 2 decades.
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Choose Cover Crop Varieties Carefully When Making Hay

For alfalfa producers needing to renovate fields suffering from winterkill or looking to increase the quality and yield of this season’s hay crop, improved cover crop varieties are a viable solution. Take berseem clover, for example. The synergistic relationship between berseem clover and alfalfa make the legume an effective companion crop due to its rapid summer growth, notable nitrogen fixation and similar appearance. Read more in this article from AgriNews.
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Livestock

Livestock, Cover Crops Take No-Till Soils, Profits To New Levels

No-tillers looking to improve soil health and biology, and diversify their sources of income should consider integrating cover crops and rotational grazing of livestock to get the most benefit for their buck.
The changes that transformed Russell Hedrick's no-till farm began somewhat innocently a few years ago, when he asked his NRCS conservationist for suggestions on suppressing winter weeds and controlling erosion.
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Cover Crops Help Reduce Amount of Hay Needed

Understanding grazing math is important and powerful information and can certainly impact your bottom line. You certainly don’t want to wait until this time of year to find that you don’t have enough winter feed so we must constantly be looking ahead. Read more in this article from the Washington Times Herald.
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Farming with Covers is Like ‘Playing Chess’

Minnesota grower Tom Cotter shares how he strategically uses cover crops, as well as tips on seeding varieties and successfully grazing livestock on covers.
My family has been farming in southern Minnesota for 143 years. Great-grandpa began tilling the soil back then, and every generation since has done the same thing.
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Tips for Making Cover Crops Work in Northern Climates

If you have always wanted to try cover crops, but live in an area with a short growing season, this podcast is for you! There are many variables involved when planting cover crops in a short growing season, according to Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
If you have always wanted to try cover crops, but live in an area with a short growing season, this podcast is for you! There are many variables involved when planting cover crops in a short growing season, according to Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Cover Crops Strategies Podcast

[Podcast] Cover Crops and Forage: A Win-Win

Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff welcomes guest speaker Monte Bottens, a California crop consultant, in this week’s podcast to discuss how to choose the best cover crop mixes for grazing, how to scale regenerative agriculture, how cash cropping can mesh with grazing livestock, and more.
Using cover crops as forage for livestock is a profitable and effective way to make cover crops a win-win situation. Pennsylvania cover crop expert Steve Groff welcomes guest speaker Monte Bottens, a California crop consultant, in this week’s podcast to discuss how to choose the best cover crop mixes for grazing, how to scale regenerative agriculture, how cash cropping can mesh with grazing livestock, and more. (Courtesy of Cover Crop Innovators)
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Attend the 2020 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 in Omaha, Neb., August 6-7, 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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