Grazing Management

The educational materials listed on this page are about Grazing Management.

Grazing management is critical to any pasture-based livestock farming system. Rotational grazing, intensive rotational grazing and management intensive grazing are key to successful and sustainable rotational grazing systems. So, what is rotational grazing? Careful grazing strategies include stocking rates of cattle, time spent on each paddock or pasture, how many times a herd revisits that same paddock or pasture throughout the year, and incorporating multi-species grazing to reduce parasite loads. Management approaches used to increase grazing uniformity, such as water sources and fencing, improve livestock grazing distribution problems. Rotational grazing cattle may also require capital expenditures. Thus, less expensive, practical solutions, like selecting cattle with desirable grazing patterns and culling cattle without, have been suggested as tools for improving managed intensive rotational grazing. This makes a rotational grazing definition difficult to refine depending on geographic location. Key practices include holistic managementgrazing managementrotational grazing, livestock breedingstocking raterangeland pasture managementpasture renovationwatering systemsmulti-species grazingcontinuous grazing.

The Rangeland Management Strategies bulletin has information for multi-species grazing and winter grazing, and it offers advice for forage management and vegetation management, as well as practices for protecting riparian areas. SARE’s Small Ruminant Toolbox offers producers with small ruminant livestock enterprises practices that provide pest, weed and parasite control. Smart Water Use on your Farm or Ranch can be used to better understand the role of water in a farm system and in grazing management.

Cover Crops Incorporated into Rotational Grazing Improves Soil Health

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Over-seeding a diverse cool-season cover crop mix into a rotationally grazed warm-season grass pasture appears to improve soil health, especially when the system is managed over a longer period of time. In a limited study, funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, Louisiana State University […]

The Performance of Cover Crops in Minimally Tilled Forage-based Grazing Systems

In a Southern SARE-funded Graduate Student Grant (GS15-152), “Evaluation of Winter Annual Cover Crops Under Multiple Residue Management: Impacts on land management, soil water depletion, and cash crop productivity,” Texas Tech University researchers investigated five cover crops species as potential complements to a warm-season beef-stocker grazing system. The impact of the project was two-fold: Stabilize the soil surface from excessive wind erosion and desiccation; and strengthen rural communities by ensuring the persistence of profitable agriculture in the region.

Integrating Legumes with Grass to Improve Forage-Livestock Systems

In a Southern SARE-funded Research and Education Grant (LS14-261), "Long-term Agroecosystems Research and Adoption in the Texas Southern High Plains -- Phase III," Texas Tech University researchers conducted a steer grazing trial comparing a grass only system to a grass-legume system for animal productivity and water use efficiency.

Get the Most Out of Forage Systems for Goats with Sunn Hemp

TUSKEGEE, Alabama – Small ruminant producers in the Southeast can potentially graze their goats year-round on a forage-based production system by incorporating a summer legume, such as sunn hemp, into the traditional bermudagrass pasture. Tuskegee University animal scientist Byeng-ryel Min found that a summer sunn hemp/bermudagrass forage mixture, or sunn hemp alone, followed by winter […]

Fewer Greenhouse Gases Released When Cattle Graze on Legume-rich Grass Pastures Compared to Nitrogen Fertilized Pastures

GAINESVILLE, Florida – Beef cattle that graze on legume-enriched grass pastures release fewer greenhouse gases compared with the typical nitrogen fertilization regimes in the Southeastern U.S., based on the limited results of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE)-funded study at University of Florida. The results offer a sustainable grazing management alternative for those […]

Bringing Velvet Bean Back as a Grazing Forage

MANOR, Georgia – Motorists passing through rural Manor, GA along Highway 122, perhaps on their way to Waycross, were puzzled by the mystery crop growing on a portion of Lynn Barber’s Heritage Acres farm. “Some of the older farmers knew exactly what it was, but a lot of people were stopping to ask me if […]

Grazing Cover Crops in Cropland

For some producers with extensive experience using cover crops, grazing can be a ‘next step’ in obtaining additional economic value while achieving environmental stewardship.

Introducing Annuals in Grazed Pastures

Annual cover crops provide ecosystem benefits to perennial-based pasture systems by introducing quality forage at opportune times of the year, creating a more diverse farm habitat, and providing opportunities to renovate overused or underutilized areas of the farm.

Integrating Perennial Peanut into Grass Pastures

GAINESVILLE, Florida — Rhizoma peanut (commonly known as perennial peanut) is a warm-season perennial legume well adapted to Florida. It has high digestibility (65-75%) and crude protein concentrations (15-20%), that can really boost livestock performance. Integrating rhizoma peanut into bahiagrass pastures can almost double livestock performance, compared to bahiagrass alone (Figure 1). Rhizoma peanut also […]

Native Warm Season Grasses Diversify Livestock Grazing/Support Biodiversity

MISSISSIPPI STATE, Mississippi – Native warm season grasses excel over more traditional commercial grass varieties when it comes to grazing livestock and promoting wildlife conservation, based on the results of a two-year Mississippi State University agroecology study. The study, funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student grant, compared native warm […]

Native Grasses Good Food Sources for Livestock; Perform Best as Grazing Forages

IUKA, Mississippi – A Mississippi livestock producer has found that native warm-season grasses pack more of a nutritional punch than commercial non-native forages, but he recommends that the grasses be grown for grazing rather than for hay. Tulon McKee, Jr. of McKee Farms received a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Producer Grant to […]

Heritage Turkey Manual

Developed by The Livestock Conservancy, the Heritage Turkey Manual provides information on all facets of pasture-based turkey production and turkey breeding.

No-Till Cropping Systems in Oklahoma

This publication is designed to assist individuals interested in a no-till cropping system in making decisions that affect the production of their operation.

Managing Pasture Resources

A fact sheet developed by the University of Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station to help grazing managers maintain long-term sustainability of their pasture resources.