Archive | Rotational Grazing on WICST

A unique system of WICST is the rotational grazing system using dairy heifers. As a comparison for animal performance, confined heifers serve as the control to those on pasture. The impact of the animals on the plots (sward productivity, soil fertility, energy, etc) is also evaluated and compared to the others cropping systems on WICST.

Managed grazing’s effect on soil quality and structure

A long-term southern Wisconsin cropping systems study shows that soils under managed grazing have a number of positive characteristics compared to soils under other cropping systems….more Author: R. McNair, J. Hedtkce More »

Pastured heifers grow well and have productive first lactations: CIAS Research Brief

Dairy heifers that were raised on pasture in the ongoing Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST) performed as well as or better than, similar heifers that were raised in confinement. In this study, not only did heifers on managed pastures match the weights and age at first calving of their confined counterparts, but they [...] More »

Managed grazing in WICST prairies: Tradeoffs between plant functional diversity, forage availability, and resistance to weed invasion

To explore the relationships between plant functional diversity, forage production, and forage quality in native grasslands managed for sequential grazing, managed grazing was employed across a diversity gradient in reconstructed tallgrass prairie communities. A well-established switchgrass monoculture was compared to reconstructed (planted) prairies that had been seeded with varying levels of native plant functional diversity [...] More »

Managed grazing with dairy heifers: Integrating cool- and warm-season grasses for improved seasonal productivity

Managed grazing in Wisconsin has been a growing fraction of the dairy industry for nearly 20 years. A recent survey by Wis-DATCP (Paine and Gildersleeve, 2011) revealed that 22% of all dairy farms now practice some managed grazing, highest in the Southwest (28%) and in each of North central and West central regions (23%), [...] More »

Summary of pasture biomass estimates on the rotational grazing (CS6) system 1990-2010

Pasture swards are complex systems of growing grasses and forbs, that are grazed during the growing season and occassionally cut for hay. As a result, it is difficult to characterize their productivity and this can be confounded by heifer management. In this report, we summarize the three different approaches used to develop pasture [...] More »

RFV vs. RFQ on Three WICST Forage Systems

Graphical comparisons of RFV (relative feed value) vs. RFQ (relative forage quality) are shown for a conventional direct-seeded alfalfa system, an organic oatlage-alfalfa companion seeded system, and a mixed cool-season grass/legume pasture under managed grazing.  Data is from 2003-2010 and is the seasonal average from 4 reps/forage type/year. More »

Powerpoint Comparing Production, Profitability and Environmental Aspects on WICST

Data was presented at the Wisconsin Grazing Conference, February 20, 2010 in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. More »

Management-Intensive Rotational Grazing of Dairy Heifers on WICST (1999-2000)

Management-intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) is a low input form of dairy herd management that is increasing throughout the United States. In Wisconsin, about 23 percent of dairy farmers used MIRG last year, more than triple that since 1993 (Jackson-Smith and Powell, 1999). Of the three dairy forage systems represented in the Wisconsin Integrated [...] More »

Rotational Grazing with Dairy Heifers on WICST: Pasture and Heifer Productivity (1993-2004)

Whereas more and more of the milk stream is coming from large dairies with more than 1000 animal units (1 AU=1000 lb cow), managed (rotational) grazing is an increasingly important part of the landscape. In a recent study by PATS, researchers reported that managed grazing farms consistently generated more farm income and had lower [...] More »

Rotational Grazing with Dairy Heifers on WICST: Pasture Productivity, Heifer Weight Gain And Profitability ( 2000-2006)

Profitable livestock production is the objective of all forage systems. Managed grazing continues to be an attractive option for many because of its relatively low capital investment as well as the aesthetically pleasing and appealing lifestyle it offers. Authors: Janet Hedtcke, Josh Posner More »