One of the easiest ways horse owners and livestock producers can increase on-farm profitability is through proper grazing management. Michigan State University (MSU) Extension will cover many grazing strategies during a two-day grazing school at the Lake City Research Center, in Lake City, Mich., Sept. 12-13. Designed to blend classroom-style instruction, hands-on education, and producer testimonials, the school gives participants a well-rounded course in grazing management techniques.
"Through properly managed grazing, producers can expect a minimum of 30 percent increase in forage utilization," Jason Rowntree, an MSUExtension specialist and assistant professor in the MSU Department of Animal Science, said. "Properly managed grazing translates into added weight gain … and an increased grazing season also minimizes the amount of hay needed to get through a winter."
Topics that will be covered on the first day of class range from an introductory overview of managed grazing to livestock nutrition. Attendees will also learn about plant growth, forage quality, and species selection, as well as determining yield, allocating pasture, and identifying forage species.
On day two, the following topics will be discussed: soil fertility and management; grazing systems, layout and design; water systems and requirements; building and using fences for grazing; and pasture establishment and improvement.
"We’re trying to introduce producers to managed grazing and teach them how to make decisions with respect to yield determination of forages and how to allocate animals to certain pastures," Rowntree said. Rowntree