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 »

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 »

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 Cropping Systems […] More »

Comparison of WICST Forage Systems: Productivity and Profitability from 2004-2006

The dairy industry is undergoing rapid change within Wisconsin (CIAS 2005; PATS 2005). In addition to the trend of increasing animal concentration and custom feed production, other producers are looking to alternative markets such as grass-fed and organic labels to increase their profitability. Each strategy implies a somewhat different forage production approach. In this study […] More »

Cover crop after wheat harvest for reduced N-leaching and increased forage production

The objective in this trial was to help transition from the small grain phase to the subsequent corn phase, including the addition of manure. The conflict is if manure is added, it is better to incorporate it, and if incorporated, the grower will loose the ground cover that is afforded by the wheat stubble. An […] More »

WICST Intensive Rotational Grazing of Dairy Heifers in 1997 and 1998

Of the three dairy systems represented in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial (WICST), rotational grazing is the lowest input system. Pastures were established at the Lakeland Agricultural Complex (LAC) and the Arlington Agricultural Research Station (ARS) in 1990. Initially, species included red clover, smooth bromegrass and timothy; later, orchardgrass, perennial ryegrass and reed canarygrass […] More »