Grazing Stockpiled Forage: When Planning Meets Reality

At Bishopp Family Farm we custom graze organic dairy heifers.  They're at the farm for a year starting January 20.  Then they head back to their owners to calve and we bring over their younger sisters to start the whole process over again. I have stockpiled and grazed during the fall and winter in the past, even while mending from a heart attack. This year, I'm inviting you along for the ride.  A lot of forethought went into this idea of increased grazing days and reducing hay feeding with an eye toward more overall profit for the custom grazier and his customers.  I want to share the planning that went into it and how it works, to give you a better idea of what you might be facing as you make a similar change. Every year I manage my pastures and herd and track my progress using planned grazing charts that were developed by Holistic Management Internationl (HMI) and enhanced as part of a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Project with the help of graziers, conservation professionals and grazing experts.  Grazing charts help me make the best use of my pastures, make critical decisions and also help me schedule time with my family and friends.  After all, all work and no play makes anyone a dull boy/girl! You can download my gra

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