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

Fall Cover Grazing Opportunities Limited

A wet summer and late start to silage harvest likely cut into cover crop production this year. Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist based in Knoxville, Iowa, says grazing availability will likely depend on planting dates. Read more in this article from KMA Radio.
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Soil Erosion, Water Quality Improved from Grazing & Cover Crops

Preventing soil erosion and nutrient runoff, and improving water quality are issues that are important to farmers, elected officials and the general public. Derrick Raspor, soil conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, demonstrated the effects of different cropping systems on surface and ground water during a recent field day hosted by Rachel Bouressa on the Bouressa Family Farm. Read more in this article from the Wisconsin State Farmer.
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Considerations When Harvesting Covers for Forage

For those who planted small grains, in particular oats, on prevented plant acres with the intention of harvesting for supplemental forage, that harvest time is approaching. Some questions regarding rust and potential nitrate toxicity have been raised in the context of the approaching harvest. Read more in this article from This Week Community News (Columbus, Ohio).
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Time Running Out to Use Cover Crops on Prevent Plant Acres

The announcement by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), enables farmers who plant cover crops on prevented plant acres to hay, graze, ensile, or chop those fields earlier than November 1. For 2019, RMA will allow farmers to make forage on prevent plant acres after Sept. 1. Find out more in this article from the News Gazette (Winchester, Indiana).
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Test Cover Crops for Nutrient Levels Before Grazing

Cover crops are seen as a saving grace for soil health, and livestock is a big key to adding diversity and working cover crops into an operation. To help producers understand how cover crops play into cattle diets, South Dakota State University Extension hosted a talk on managing different forages at the Dakotafest farm show in Mitchell this summer. Find out more in this article from the Courier (Waterloo, Iowa).
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Winter Cereals as a Forage Cover Crop

Cereals, soybeans, and silage corn are all being harvested, or will be soon! That bare ground provides an opportunity to boost forage inventories by double cropping with a winter cereal, while getting all the benefits of a cover crop in the rotation. Read more in this article from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs.
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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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