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Benefits and How-To’s of Swath Grazing

Even though it’s only early August, we’re all thinking about what our fall and winter grazing and feeding is going to look like. One option is swath grazing, where instead of baling the cut forage, it’s left in the field in swaths. As Dr. Vernon Brown of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada says in this video, not baling reduces fuel and equipment costs by about 1/3 and the cost of feeding animals overall by about 40%.

If that sounds good to you, first take a look at this article from Jim Gerrish that shows areas of the country where swath grazing works best:

Is Swath Grazing for You?

Then, check out the video below for answers to questions like:

Can I teach cows to swath graze?
How do I choose the right site for swath grazing?
What happens if I get a lot of snow that covers the site?
How do I manage swath grazing?

It’s just 7:22 long and it gets right to the point.

Stay tuned for more articles on grazing through the winter, with some great ones from the folks in Canada who’ve really learned how to do it successfully in cold and snow.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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