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Soil Health Resource GuideGrazing/ Animal Health

Full Season Cover Crop Grazing

By December 10, 2019July 14th, 2020No Comments

If you want to cut your crop input costs, build your soils in a hurry, diversify your crop rotation, and not be subject to low commodity prices, you might consider converting some of your marginal crop acres to a full season grazing program. There are many options for doing this and lots of flexibility in using cool season and warm season covers. Average daily gains of 2.5–3.0 pounds per day have been reported when running stockers in a program like this. 

This may be a great opportunity to give the younger generation a way to get involved in the operation. If you don’t have livestock yourself, there are a number of producers that are willing to pay others to maintain breeding stock or background stocker calves. The beauty of an annual grazing system on row crop fields is that if commodities prices make a strong comeback, you can get the animals off the ground and pull the planter back into the field with ease.

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