Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management in the Southern Region

Created with SARE support

Pasture-based goat production is becoming one of the important enterprises for livestock farmers in the Southeastern U.S. However, most livestock farmers have not adopted sustainable forage programs and depend on hay and supplementary feedstuffs during times of reduced forage availability.

Sustainable Year-Round Forage Production and Grazing/Browsing Management for Goats in the Southern Region,” was developed as part of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded Professional Development Program grant project (ES11-107) to train field-level Extension specialists, technical assistance personnel, and mentor goat farmers in year-round forage production and grazing management.

The handbook provides tools for developing cool-season pastures by incorporating cool-season grasses and legumes into warm-season pastures, and improving the warm-season pastures by over-seeding them with warm-season legumes. Moreover, the handbook discusses browse and vine species suitable for maintaining in pastures to supplement goats’ nutritional requirements and minimizing parasitic infestations. Other topics include forage definition and classification, basic principles of forage production, animal grazing behavior, predator and disaster management, managing erosion, supplemental feeding, and economics.

In addition to the handbook, Tuskegee University, in conjunction with Texas A&M University, Auburn University, Langston University, Mississippi State University, Alabama NRCS, and other organizations, has developed an educational training video whose goal is to aid farmers and ranchers in increasing the productivity, quality, and production of forages, as well as improve management of existing pastures for sustainable livestock production.

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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.