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Prosperous Grazing Approaches

Successful production of livestock in grazing systems depends on not only animal health and genetics but also the management approach with the areas being grazed. In much of the Midwest, such grazing systems have traditionally relied on cool-season non-native grass pastures which can be highly productive in spring and fall. A recent evaluation of pasture soil health shows that more diverse pasture species combined with management-intensive grazing approaches can boost soil health, pasture productivity, and overall profitability. An initial investment in low-cost electric fencing and portable watering systems may be needed, but some farmers find they can feed less hay and may need less equipment. Another option some livestock producers are pursuing is to graze cover crops in cash grain fields; this can be a particularly profitable approach.

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