Grazing school survey respondents tout the benefits of rotational grazing

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For many years, OSU Extension has been conducting one- to five-day grazing schools throughout Ohio. In many cases OSU Extension, USDA/NRCS and local SWCD offices cooperate in these programs.

Recently, evaluation data was collected from participants who have attended a Pasture for Profit grazing school. We sent a mail survey to participants who had attended a school one or two years previously. The idea was to follow-up with producers who may have had time to implement changes and to hear what results they experienced.

Results

The following are some of the survey results: One hundred and eighty three participants were contacted and 55 percent responded. Total animals represented in survey were 5264. Ninety-six percent were: beef cow/calf, grass-fed beef, beef heifers, beef stockers, dairy replacements, dairy cow, sheep and goats.

After completing the school, participants reported a combined increase in forage production of 1129 tons of forage. At a value of $80/ton equates to $90,320.

Seventy-two percent of respondents indicated that after attending our school they were able to extend their grazing season. Eighty-two percent of respondents indicated that they have made production improvements after attending our school.

Forty-eight percent of these improvements were due to increasing the number of animals they could raise and/ or increased forage production. Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated that as a result of attending our school they have increased their net profit. Net profit was increased 52 percent of the time by decreasing feed costs and fuel.

Benefits

The four most often listed benefits of rotational grazing were better livestock care, less stress, less labor, better management. Rotational grazing is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially acceptable.

For more information on rotational grazing contact your local OSU Extension agriculture educator or Clif Little at little.16@osu.edu or 740-489-5300.

About the Author

The author is an Ohio State University Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator in Guernsey County. More Stories by Clif Little

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