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© 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Greener Pastures P ART TWO – G ETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PASTURES Speaker Name Speaker.

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Presentation on theme: "© 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Greener Pastures P ART TWO – G ETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PASTURES Speaker Name Speaker."— Presentation transcript:

1 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Greener Pastures P ART TWO – G ETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR PASTURES Speaker Name Speaker Title Speaker Affiliation

2 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Goals ▪Animal Production ▪Forage Production ▪Environmental Management ▪Social Balance ▪Economics ▪More Resources A GENDA

3 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Gain understanding of sustainability ▪Understand the balance of animal and plant growth ▪Understand your personal, social, land and financial considerations for grazing O UR GOALS : YOU WILL …

4 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Make enough to work only on farm? ▪Make enough to cover expenses? ▪Supply habitat for song birds? ▪Raise your kids on a farm? W HAT ARE YOUR G OALS ?

5 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. W HAT IS SUSTAINABILITY Planet People Profit

6 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Raise the best animals you can as efficiently as you can ▪Genetics ▪Meat and/or milk quality ▪Measuring growth ▪Calculate forage needs ▪Additional topics A NIMAL PRODUCTION

7 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Frame size and shape ▪Mothering ability ▪Temperament ▪Winter hardiness ▪Rate of Gain ▪Time to finish ▪Meat/milk quality, quantity and flavor ▪Longevity ▪Interest in foraging ▪Multiple offspring per ewe pregnancy A NIMAL SELECTION - GENETICS

8 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Increases Quality ▪Good Genetics ▪Fast growth ▪Marbling ▪Low animal stress Decreases Quality ▪Poor Genetics ▪Slow growth ▪Leanness ▪High animal stress M EAT QUALITY AND GRAZING ‘Quality’ = good eating, tender and juicy, flavorful

9 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Increases Quality ▪Genetics ▪Balanced energy and protein diet ▪Animal comfort Decreases Quality ▪Genetics ▪Low energy and protein diet ▪High animal stress M ILK QUALITY AND GRAZING ‘Quality’ = protein and fat content, low somatic cell count

10 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Increases Quantity ▪Genetics ▪Optimal energy and protein diet ▪High foraging interest ▪Animal comfort Decreases Quantity ▪Genetics ▪Low energy and protein diet ▪Low foraging interest ▪High animal stress M ILK QUANTITY AND GRAZING

11 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Rate of Gain ▪Weight gain / time ▪Average daily gain (ADG) Example : Finishing M EASURING ANIMAL GROWTH ▪Day 1 = 400 lbs ▪Day 150 = 750 lb ▪ lbs = 350 ▪350 lbs /150 d = ▪ADG= __2.33_ lbs/day

12 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. E XAMPLE 2 ▪Goal : sell by 18 mo at 1100 lb, born 65 lbs ▪ lb = 1035 = ADG = 1.9 lbs/day 18*30 days = 540 ▪Actual: Ready in 24 mo ▪1100 – 65 =1035= ADG = *30 days = 720

13 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Determine forage needs ▪Calculate forage available ▪Forage stand assessment ▪Forage species selection ▪Establishing / renovating pastures ▪Pasture rotation ▪Winter feeding F ORAGE PRODUCTION

14 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. C ALCULATE FORAGE NEEDS ▪% body weight used daily –Eaten : 2.5% –Trampled: 1-1.5% Example: –10 cows + 3mo old calves = 13 AU = 13,000 lbs –13,000 x 4% = 520 lbs of DM forage needed daily –15% dry matter content of lush pasture –520/0.15= 3,467 lbs as fed pasture

15 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. F ORAGE Q UALITY NE EDS ▪What do we mean by forage quality? –Nutritional content: protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals –Maturity when grazed or harvested –For hay or silage : weeds, mold, toxins, dust, trash

16 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Maturation cycle (recurring): Vegetative Bud (boot) Bloom (flower, anthesis) Seed ▪As plants mature: Leaf proportion declines Stems become less nutritious Fiber concentration increases; energy and intake potential decrease, protein decreases. ▪Maturity is greatest determinant of nutritional value! F ORAGE Q UALITY NE EDS

17 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. F ORAGE Q UALITY NE EDS

18 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Species composition ▪Plant diversity ▪Plant density ▪Plant vigor ▪Legume content ▪Plant residue ▪Uniformity of use ▪Severity of use F ORAGE STAND ASSESSMENTS ▪Woody canopy ▪Soil erosion

19 Forage Species Selection Grasses Regrowth Potential Legume Compatibility Winter Hardiness Ease of Establishment Drough Tolerance Flooding Tolerance Species Persistence Cool Season Grasses Italian RyegrassExcellentFairPoorExcellentFair Poor Kentucky BluegrassGoodPoorExcellentGoodFair Good OrchardgrassExcellentPoorGood Fair Good Perennial RyegrassExcellentFairPoorExcellentFair Poor QuackgrassExcellentGoodExcellentN/AGoodFairExcellent Reed CanarygrassGoodPoorExcellentPoorGoodExcellent Smooth BromegrassFairGoodExcellentGoodFair Good Tall FescueExcellentGoodFairExcellentFair TimothyFairGoodExcellentGoodPoor Warm Season Grasses IndiangrassGoodPoorGoodPoorExcellentGoodExcellent Big BluestemGoodPoorGoodPoorExcellentPoorGood Sorghum/SudanGoodPoorN/AExcellent FairN/A SwitchgrassGoodPoorGoodPoorExcellentPoorGood Legumes Regrowth Potential Bloat Problems Winter Hardiness Ease of Establishment Drough Tolerance Flooding Tolerance Species Persistence AlfalfaGoodYesExcellentGood PoorGood AlsikePoorYesGoodExcellentPoorGoodPoor Birdsfoot TrefoilFairNoExcellentPoor FairExcellent Kura CloverExcellentYesExcellentPoorGoodFairExcellent LadinoPoorYesGoodExcellentPoorGoodPoor Red CloverFairYesGoodExcellentPoorFair White CloverGoodYesExcellent GoodFairExcellent Winter hardiness assumes adapted varieties are used. Source: “Pastures for Profit: A Guide to Rotational Grazing.” University of Wisconsin (A3529) and University of Minnesota Extension Service publication FO

20 Source: “Improving Pasture Productivity: Pasture Establishment and Species Selection”, Cosgrove, Dennis. Extension Forage Specialist, University of Wisconsin, River Falls

21 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Why? ▪Increase productivity –Add species/diversity –Fill in bare/thin areas How? ▪No till drill – the drill does the tilling in a narrow band in front of the seed placement ▪Frost seeding – works best with legumes –Clover –Alfalfa R ENOVATING PASTURES When? Spring Summer Fall

22 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Stocking rate ▪The number of animals or animal units on a set amount of acres, usually the whole farm total. Stocking density ▪The number of animals, animal units or pounds of live animal on a set paddock size. H OW INTENSE IS YOUR PASTURE ?

23 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Rate = 5 AU/ac Density = 5 AU/ac Rate = 5 AU/ac Density = 20 AU/ac S TOCKING RATE VS DENSITY

24 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪2 ac per Animal Unit ▪1 Animal Unit = 1000 lb –1 beef cow – lb ewes – lb steers ▪Varies with: –Weather –Soils –Management intensity W HAT RATE SHOULD I PLAN FOR ?

25 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. C ONTINUOUS VS ROTATIONAL GRAZING ▪Animals go back to their favorites if they have a choice ▪Divide the pasture into smaller paddocks ▪Move animal into paddocks as the grass is ready ▪Adjust stocking density

26 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Good pasture ▪300 lb /ac/ in ▪5 ac, graze from 8” down to 4”= 4” of grass ▪5ac x 4” x 300 = 6000 lbs available forage ▪6000/3500 lbs needed daily = 1.71 days in that pasture C ALCULATING AVAILABLE FORAGE

27 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. How long can we leave them on that pasture? ▪6000/3500 = 1.71 days in that acre of pasture What if the paddock is smaller ? ▪If half the size, them we have to move them twice as often ▪This is the basic principle of rotational grazing ▪It becomes more intensive the more often we have to move the cattle C ALCULATING GRAZING TIME

28 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. What if the paddock is smaller ? ▪If half the size, them we have to move them twice as often ▪This is the basic principle of rotational grazing ▪It becomes more intensive the more often we have to move the cattle C ALCULATING GRAZING TIME

29 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. H OW INTENSELY DO YOU WANT TO MANAGE YOUR PASTURES ? Less labor needed Less attention needed Less risky Fewer animals per acre More labor needed Must pay close attention Risk of damaging pasture greater More animals per acre Less intense More intense

30

31 Paddock ac Paddock 2 4 ac Paddock ac 1 ac sacrifice area Neighbors 5 ac Corral and barn

32 Draw Your Property *Add paddock size!

33 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. D RAW Y OUR P ROPERTY ▪Include items like these ▪Also write down current management practices –How often you rotate pastures –Mowing weeds –Harrowing –Fertilizing –etc

34 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. A NIMAL I NVENTORY AND F ORAGE R EQUIREMENTS

35 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. F ORAGE I NVENTORY AND B ALANCING WITH R EQUIREMENTS Available forage Forage needs Net

36 Paddock 1 4 inches plant growth (250 lbs /ac/inch)(3.5 ac) = 3500 = 12 days 8 horses (900 lbs each) (0.04% utilization)288 Paddock 2 4 inches plant growth (250 lbs /ac/inch)(4 ac) = 4000 = 13.8 days 8 horses (900 lbs each) (0.04% utilization)288 Paddock 3 4 inches plant growth (250 lbs /ac/inch)(2.5 ac) = 2500 = 6.9 days 8 horses (900 lbs each) (0.04% utilization)288 Neighbors 4 inches plant growth (125 lbs /ac/inch)(5 ac) = 2500 = 6.9 days 8 horses (900 lbs each) (0.04% utilization)288 Estimate Days per Paddock

37 Paddock ac Paddock 2 4 ac Paddock ac 1 ac Neighbors 5 ac Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Rotation Month Grazing WeekPaddock amount (inches) grazed estimated tonnage grazed 1 May June July August September

38 Time to move ▪Cows can go in a paddock when… –Good forage growth of 8 to 12 inches –Forages had adequate rest period Complicating factors: Weather –Drought –Cold –Heat Multiple herds Too many animals Lack of labor Lack of attention

39 Time to move ▪Horses and sheep can go in a paddock when… –Good forage growth of 4 to 6 inches –Forages had adequate rest period Complicating factors: Weather –Drought –Cold –Heat Multiple herds Too many animals Lack of labor Lack of attention Overweight horses

40 Be Flexible ▪Watch and see how it goes ▪Be willing to change fencing arrangement and grazing time ▪Use temporary fencing for divisions at first ▪Pull them off when its time ▪It’s a plan, not the law. Make a plan, get as close as you can, but it ok if you don’t get there right away.

41 Be Observant ▪Have we had enough rain? ▪What stage of growth are the plants in? ▪Seed heads forming? That reduces quality. ▪Are there weeds getting out of control? ▪How are the horses grazing it? Sit and watch ▪How tall is the grass? ▪Has it regrown since the last grazing? ▪Good dark green color to forages?

42 Write it down! ▪How long you expect to graze each paddock? ▪How long were they actually in each paddock? ▪Communication is critical! Make sure your team knows the plan.

43 End of the season ▪Are you going to pull them off pastures for the winter? ▪Open up all gates when things freeze up? ▪Keep them off muddy and frosty pastures ▪Sacrifice area

44 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Make a plan ▪What do I need to know? –Number of animals –Animal requirements –Pasture available –Number of paddocks needed Manage your plan –Adjust due to season, moisture, species –Adjust by changing animal numbers, paddock size, harvest of excess, supplemental feeding A CTIVITY - PASTURE PLAN

45 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. What, when, why? ▪Plan for it! ▪Budget for it! ▪Grass bales ▪Baleage ▪Corn stalks ▪Grain Round bale feeding W INTER FEEDING

46 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Prevent polluting –Nutrients – manure, fertilizer, septic, etc –Chemicals- fuel, etc ▪Careful use of pesticides ▪Minimize erosion ▪Vegetative buffers for lakes, streams, wetlands ▪Increase biodiversity – native plantings ▪Manage invasive species E NVIRONMENTAL M ANAGEMENT

47 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Organic cert or no? ▪Selling whole, live animal and done? ▪Direct sales? –Distance to butcher –Butcher’s schedule and fees –Available storage? –Transportation options? O FF TO M ARKET

48 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Recordkeeping ▪Cost of production ▪Desired income ▪Savings ▪Determine a cost of gain or cost per unit of milk produced – most difficult thing to do accurately. ▪Start with the end in mind ECONOMICS

49 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Animal costs ▪Feed – pasture, hay, grain, minerals, vitamins ▪Veterinary ▪Purchase costs? ▪Processing and marketing ▪Labor? Facility costs ▪Fencing ▪Shelter ▪Land ▪Housing ▪Vehicles? ▪Utilities ▪DIRTI - overhead A CTIVITY – PRODUCTION COSTS

50 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Am I going in the right direction? ▪Economically – is this sustainable? ▪What adjustments need to be made? ▪What adjustment can be made? Is it working how I thought it would? ▪Is my quality of life what I wanted to be? ▪What is my stress level? A CTIVITY - AM I MAKING $?

51 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪Am I a good neighbor? ▪Is the work environment of my farm better now than when I started? ▪Does my farm support other local businesses? S OCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

52 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. E NTERPRISE BUDGETS ▪Income ▪Expenses ▪Analysis

53 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. Environment SocialEconomics Pick a scenario and decide what action you would take. What impact would that action have on each of these aspects of sustainability? A CTIVITY – BALANCE SUSTAINABILITY

54 Spiritual/Faith Purpose Ethics + values Controlling our Destiny Dealing with Change Family Leisure Rest Healthy Functional Effective Commu n-ication Time Harmon y Directio n Quality of Life Success is how you measure it!

55 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. ▪County’s Soil and Water Conservation District – phone book ▪USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in your county – phone book ▪U of M Extension - A DDITIONAL RESOURCES

56 © 2011 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this PowerPoint is available in alternative formats upon request. Direct requests to the Extension Store at Thank You Questions? This product was developed with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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