At this Brookdale Research Field, MBFI is researching extended grazing strategies. This page provides information about this particular research project; including the background, objectives, and updates.
Extended grazing strategies can help reduce feeding costs, reduce labour requirements and increase nutrient returns to the soil. Because of these potential benefits, extended grazing is increasing in popularity as a winter feeding management technique.
There are also a number of environmental benefits of using extended grazing, in particular reducing the use of fossil fuels used in the winter feeding of livestock. However, there are also some concerns about nutrient runoff which is why the environmental impact of extended grazing will be monitored throughout the project. Fuel usage in a conventional feeding systems versus an extended grazing will also be compared.
As of May 2016 - Fifty-five cows were extensively grazed at the Brookdale site of MBFI over the 2015-2016 winter. They started grazing on swath grazed millet in December, were moved to corn grazing in February and finally moved to bale grazing in March. The cows retained their body condition score adequately throughout the winter and had the highest daily gain on the corn grazing. Overall, the residue left on the fields was high in all three feeding types; method of reducing this residue will be practiced in future study years.