Our farm is a family operation consisting of approximately 580 acres in western South Dakota. About 300 acres of this is irrigated, and produces forage and grain crops. We also pasture cattle during the winter.
We use winter grazing and pasture feeding to manage fertility
The goal of our project was to evaluate the practice of using standing grain as winter grazing, to determine whether this would be a viable way to decrease harvest costs, improve nutrient cycling, and provide a healthy environment for cattle.
Unfortunately, this project did not reach the point of achieving results. The year the grant was awarded, our project was not selected for funding until after the planting window, so the project was delayed until the following year (2009 season). The field was severely hailed out that season, so an extension was granted. The field was replanted for the 2010 season, when it was again hailed out. For this reason, we have decided to abandon the project.
We have confirmed that which we have already had plenty of occasion to note: that agriculture is a risky and unpredictable business which demands flexibility!