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refers to the allowance of a group of grazing livestock to selectively choose what forage they eat in a large pasture for the duration of the growing season. The content of this site is published by the site owner(s) and is not a statement of advice, opinion, or information pertaining to The Ohio State University. Animals that heavily graze a specific area can benefit the land by consuming and or physically destroying weed populations. Clean water is important for good animal performance. Rotational grazing with more than one species of livestock usually increases the efficiency of forage utilization and reduces the intensity of “landscape maintenance” practices such as mowing, chopping, or herbicide application. Another benefit of rotational grazing is that cattle become gentler with regular human contact during moves to fresh paddocks. “The first is when grass comes out of dormancy in spring, or after being harvested short. “A person can often get by moving cow-calf pairs just once a week, however. The Benefits of Rotational Grazing Hart Dairy / 2 days ago / Animal welfare , Grass , Regenerative Farming , Sustainability , Cows , Rotational Grazing At Hart Dairy, we know that in order to produce the best feed from our pastures, we must manage those pastures in a more sustainable way. As we approach fall like temperatures, forage growth patterns will begin to change. Properly managed pasture-based systems use land efficiently and provide high production per acre. Wheel line irrigation can be compatible with paddock division fences, if you can use portable electric fence. Regarding rotation grazing management in general, Hall’s advice is to learn the basics and then try to customize them to your ranch — always keeping the need for flexibility in mind. “You can also put up permanent single-strand, high-tensile fence 2 feet tall that you don’t have to move, says Gerrish. Remember, water sources for grazing livestock should be within 800 feet for effective grazing management. “If the irrigation system breaks down and takes a few days to fix, or it doesn’t rain, or whatever, we may have to be willing to feed hay at a time of year we hate to feed hay, just to give those pastures enough time to recover,” he explains. John Hall, superintendent of the University of Idaho’s Nancy M. Cummings Research, Extension and Education Center near Salmon, says rotational grazing is always a very positive tool for stock producers, especially on irrigated ground. Collecting soil samples on an annual basis would also be beneficial, especially when considering to plant or inter-seed new forages into your pastures. “A common thing you’ll see in continuously grazed pastures is overgrazed areas [Phase 1 grass] right next to mature clumps [Phase 3] that cattle aren’t eating — and no Phase 2 grass. Stocking rate should always focus on forage demand rather than cow numbers. That doesn’t include the benefits of stockpiling grass in the field for fall or winter grazing. The District has had more than 50 years of experience with this sy… Once cattle learn they can do this, they can be easily moved without gates. There are many variables regarding the best number of days spent in a paddock. The reduced need for pesticides in rotational grazing systems benefits all. There are many benefits to this strategy as rotational grazing allows producers to utilize their pastures more efficiently by decreasing feed costs, decreasing weed pressure present in a pasture setting, improving the health and performance of grazing flocks, and contributing to the sustainability of the grazing land. “The goal of rotational grazing is hold the grass in Phase 2 for as much of the season as possible by letting pastures recover periodically,” he explains. That means sickness and other issues can be noticed and addressed in a timelier manner. DeLaune is researching the integration of cover crops and livestock into cotton-wheat rotation systems, including grazing after cotton harvest. Here's a solid refresher on rotational grazing for cattle ranchers. While these articles will focus on the basics, it may be that old-timers can pick up a tip or two as well. Rotational grazing can result in a decrease in feed costs as grazing livestock will be harvesting their own feed, which in turn will decrease the cost of labor and time in harvesting and feeding stored forages. Some stock producers find best results by moving cattle daily or even several times a day. A managed rotational grazing system needs to be implemented which subdivides the pasture into smaller paddocks. Electric netting allows our shepherds to quickly subdivide pastures. On a dry year when grasses become short on protein, cows will readily eat a protein supplement, and you can move the location of their grazing with movement of supplement tubs. Cattle prefer grass in Phase 1 because it’s tender, succulent and high in nutritional quality. Contributors include members of the OSU Beef Team and beef cattle specialists and economists from across the U.S. Fall Plant Control of cressleaf groundsel; Prevent the sea of yellow in the spring, Management Considerations for Warm-Season Perennials, Winter Application of Manure; Remember Setbacks, Visit our ‘One-stop Shop’ to View Agriculture and Natural Resources Programs. Neither text, nor links to other websites, is reviewed or endorsed by The Ohio State University. Follow this link to view the single page Ag-note: Benefits of Rotational Grazing. The information provided above is an outline of the benefits and keys considerations to help aid in the success of this management system. This makes the recovery periods longer than they can afford to have,” he says. Try something on a small scale at first, then work your way into it as you discover what works best for you. 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