Study Shows Management-Intensive Grazing Impacts on Forage Quantity and Quality

This article was first published in June of 2016. Not everyone believes that pastures under management-intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) differ from grasslands under other management in terms of forage quality and quantity, carbon sequestration and biological soil activity. So researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison decided to run some trials to find out, comparing management-intensive rotational grazing to continuous grazing, hay harvesting, and unmanaged grassland. Their results point to managed grazing as a tool for improving forage production and quality on pasture. Setting Up the Experiment Gary Oates and Randy Jackson from the UW-Madison Agronomy Department conducted this research project at the UW-owned Franbrook Farm near New Glarus during the 2006 and 2007 growing seasons. The grazing season started in May and continued through October, providing six 30-day grazing cycles. Kentucky bluegrass and orchardgrass were the predominant grasses in all of the pastures. White clover was the dominant legume in the grazed plots, while birdsfoot trefoil was the dominant legume in the non-grazed plots. The researchers applied granular ammonium phosphate (11-44-0) fertilizer at the UW Extension recommended rate (50 lbs. N/acre) in early June of 2005, 2006 and 2007 to all plots except those under no agronomic management. Continuous grazing In this tre

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