Winter grazing management

Date
1999-11-08
Authors
Barnhart, Stephen
Karlen, Douglas
Russell, James
Karlen, Douglas
Tidman, Michael
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Abstract

Why winter grazing? Beef cow herd and sheep flock records show that winter feeding costs are livestock producers' single largest production expense. Managing through winter weather while keeping feeding costs low is an essential part of maintaining a profitable operation. Iowa's climate generally allows forage growth only during a 7-to-8 month period. Extending the grazing of this forage--even an extra 3 or 4 weeks in late autumn and winter--is an economical way to maintain or increase livestock profitability. Some producers extend the grazing season by using stockpiled forage, whereas others use crop residue, and many combine the use of stockpiled forage and crop residue. Producers who graze livestock during the winter need to know techniques that optimize their resources, provide consistent, high-quality forage, and conserve soil

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