The current economic situation is one more good reason livestock producers should turn to grazing or extend their grazing seasons, says Don Ball, Auburn University extension forage specialist. To help, Ball and colleagues offer a pdf version of a publication called Extending Grazing And Reducing Stored Feed Needs.

“It's all about grazing. Here are strategies that people use in different parts of the country to have the animals harvesting the forage rather than having it provided for them,” says Ball.

The 20-page publication, which will be in printed form in the next few months, can be downloaded.

Graziers usually spend about a third of the cost of stored feed, explains Ball, and grazing offers fewer concentrations of manure and nutrients, requires less labor and causes less environmental and land damage. Weather conditions are less of a concern for graziers and forage quality is usually better under grazing systems, he adds.

Besides Ball, its authors include Ed Ballard, retired University of Illinois extension specialist; Mark Kennedy, Missouri Natural Resources Conservation Service grassland specialist; and forage specialists Garry Lacefield, University of Kentucky, and Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin.