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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Soil Health

Raising Cattle to Feed Grain

Cover crop rotation paired with grazing system completes no-tiller’s holy grail of soil health.
Jeff Gaska’s first time experimenting with cover crops came when he decided to frost seed clover into winter wheat.
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Direct Use of Cover Crops Boosts Beef Production

While cover crop discussions usually hover around soil health & managing residue in row crops, many graziers realize profitable returns from using covers as high-quality forage.
In 2015, Jack Gorczyca retired from his 33-year career as an ag teacher, bought a Case 550 dozer and set about preparing 160 acres of hilly, timbered land as the basis of a full-time cattle operation.
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Grazing Cover Crops with Spring in Full Force

Calves, robins, geese, vultures… all signs confirming spring’s arrival in Iowa. The green up can feel like it arrived in hours, and it really is changing by the hour. Rye is among the first species to break winter dormancy and grows when temperatures reach 38 degrees F. While how fast the growth comes depends on multiple factors like growing degree days and moisture, in general, triticale and wheat tend to lag behind rye about two weeks.
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Grazing Specialist Gives Tips for Grazing Cover Crops & Annual Forages

No matter what type of grazing livestock you have, you likely have experienced time frames when you wished you had more forage available, especially during the summer slump period to help extend the grazing season. Having more forage available to graze or mechanically harvest helps to balance out dry matter needs and reduces the need to purchase additional forage.
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PRODUCTS

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Cover Crop Strategies Volume 1

$15.95
The editors of Cover Crop Strategies and No-Till Farmer created this 24-page special report to share ideas on getting covers established, using a roller-crimper for termination, successfully integrating livestock into a cover-crop system and using covers to transition away from an overdependence on herbicides and fertilizers.

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Cover Crop Strategies Volume 4

$15.95

With this 16-page, newly-released edition of Cover Crop Strategies, you’ll discover how many graziers realize profitable returns from using cover as high- quality forage. Read how cover crop rotation paired with a grazing system completes a no-tiller’s holy grail of soil health. You’ll also hear from the late cover crop expert Dave Brandt as he discusses his best practices for getting the most out of cover crops.

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The National Strip-Tillage Conference returns August 8-9, 2024! Build and refine your strip-till system with dozens of new ideas and connections at the 11th Annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Madison, Wis. Aug. 8-9, 2024. Experience an energizing 2-day agenda featuring inspiring general session speakers, expert-led Strip-Till Classrooms and collaborative Strip-Till Roundtables. Plus, Certified Crop Adviser credits will be offered.

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