Technology Transfer of Grazing System Components to Producers Implementing Sustainable Rotational Grazing Systems

Final Report for LNC00-164

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2000: $24,587.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Matching Federal Funds: $18,000.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $30,000.00
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Coordinator:
Mark D. Boswell
Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee
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Project Information

Summary:

The Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee (SIFLC) have been very successful in giving producers opportunities for “hands on” training of rotational grazing system components. There have been winter field days for crop residue and stockpile forage grazing. Fence field days where producers installed a variety of products used in modern electric fence systems. Producers constructed a tank made from an old combine tire and witnessed a variety of limited access water systems. Summer field days also focused on utilizing a variety of forages such as warm season grass, Kura clover and more traditional legumes, all installed with no-till drills.

Project Objectives:

1)Conduct a “hands-on” demonstration day for installing New Zealand style electric fence

2)Conduct a “hands-on” demonstration day for installing a water distribution system

3)Incorporate warm season native grasses into an existing grazing system to diversify the forage and lengthen the grazing season

4)Demonstrate, in a multi-county area, the management necessary for establishment and maintenance of legumes into grassed-based forage using a no-till drill

5)Incorporate Kura Clover into a rotational grazing system

6)Conduct “hands-on” demonstrations of establishing a stream crossing/access

7)Conduct “county level” meetings to transfer improved grazing technology to producers

8)Facilitate grazing clinics designed for producers ready for the next step in management

9)Demonstrate the use of a “tree shear” to control “weedy” trees and brush

Research

Materials and methods:

The purpose of this project was to transfer technology that is used in management intensive grazing systems to farmers so they would be more willing to implement the technology. Because “learning by doing” can be a very effective educational tool, this project attempted to incorporate “hands-on” teaching experiences as much as possible. The “hands-on” training went where ever the opportunity allowed. Private landowners’ farms were used to provide demonstrations of installing New Zealand style electric fence, incorporating legumes into grass pastures, and stream crossing/water accesses. The Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm was utilized to provide “hands-on” experiences to install electric fence, water distribution systems and constructing tire tanks, incorporating warm season grass into a grazing system, making legumes a part of a grass pasture, and establishing and managing Kura Clover.

Research results and discussion:

1) Conduct a “hands-on” demonstration day for installing New Zealand style electric fence

A field day was held in September 2000 at the Adams County CRP Farm. Another field day was held in September 2001 in cooperation with a private landowner who is in the process of implementing a rotational grazing system. Forty people attended the two events, and the information was well received by all in attendance. Four different fence businesses from private industry also participated in the events.

Field days were conducted for area high school and college agriculture departments in September 2002 utilizing funds from an EPA Environmental Education Grant. A total of 280 students from 10 departments participated. They were given the opportunity to have “hands on” education of the various fence materials and systems utilized at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm.

During the life of this project 320 people have had an opportunity to become more knowledgeable about New Zealand-style electric fence.

2) Conduct a “hands-on” demonstration day for installing a water distribution system

Three water demonstration days were held during the past year. The first event was held at the Adams County CRP Farm in April 2001. The other two were hosted by private landowners in July and September. Used combine tires were converted to tanks at all three events. Participants were intrigued with the idea of recycling combine tires at a very reasonable cost. Also demonstrated at the events were siphon gravity flow systems, pressurized systems, and limited access systems into farm ponds.

In March 2002 a workshop was held in partnership with the Corning High School Vocational Agriculture Department to demonstrate constructing water tanks from used implement tires. A pasture walk in August 2002 showed participants the variety of water systems used at the Adams County CRP Farm. A field day to demonstrate a variety of water systems was held in August 2002 at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm. Nose pump, over the pond dam siphon, floating electric fence water access and a low cost low volume solar pump were demonstrated. The Iowa Energy Center was a partner is this event as well. A total of 175 people attended the three events. Field days were conducted for area high school and college agriculture departments in September 2002 utilizing funds from an EPA Environmental Education Grant. A total of 280 students from 10 departments participated. They were given the opportunity to have “hands on” education of the various water sources and distribution systems utilized at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm.

More than 455 producers have had an opportunity to gain more knowledge about water system alternatives as a result of this project. In addition, pictures taken of various systems have been used at meetings and workshops throughout Iowa to countless other farmers.

3) Incorporate warm season native grasses into an existing grazing system to diversify the forage and lengthen the grazing season

Big Bluestem, Indiangrass and Eastern Gammagrass were incorporated into the grazing system at the Adams County CRP Farm in 2001. They had previously been interseeded into existing tall cool season grass and legumes. They provided abundant and high quality forage for stockers in July and August. A field day was held in July for area producers to witness the amount of forage available. The field day was also an opportunity for participants to learn how to manage warm season grasses as part of a total grazing system.

A pasture walk in August 2002 gave an opportunity for 25 people to see how these native grasses can be utilized in a rotational grazing system. Field days were conducted for area high school and college agriculture departments in September 2002 utilizing funds from an EPA Environmental Education Grant. A total of 280 students from 10 departments participated. They were given the opportunity to have “hands on” education of the use and benefit of warm season grass in a rotational grazing system as they are utilized at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Southwest Iowa Leaders Tour on August 30, 2004 – 15 leaders toured the demonstration farm and learned how to incorporate warm season grass into a grazing system. They also learned of the management necessary to maintain and utilize warm season grass in the system.

An evening field day on August 30, 2004 attracted 65 producers. They learned how to incorporate warm season grass into a grazing system. They also learned of the management necessary to put warm season grass into a grazing system.

Sustainable rotational Grazing for Beef Cows – Grazing Clinic was held in cooperation with ATTRA on September 3 and 4, 2003. 25 people attended and learned of the contributions warm season grass makes to a grazing system, including providing improving soil health, lengthening the grazing season and improving forage quality.
More than 400 people have learned more about establishing and managing warm season grass in a grazing system because of this project. Though not by design, the warm season grass paddocks at the Adams County CRP Farm also have a significant amount of cool season grass. We have used this opportunity to demonstrate how both types of forage can be utilized during the grazing season by managing the time when livestock are allowed to graze the forage. This is a bonus that we did not know would be available when the project was designed.

4) Demonstrate, in a multi-county area, the management necessary for establishment and maintenance of legumes into grassed-based forage using a no-till drill

Demonstrations were held at the Adams County CRP Farm and on private land in Adair and Harrison counties. The demonstrations were well attended, with approximately 65 people in attendance. These demonstrations were opportunities for producers to have a better understanding of the benefits legumes provide to cool season grass pastures. In addition, producers gained a more clear understanding of the management steps necessary to not only establish legumes but manage them so they continue to be an integral part of the grazing system.

A pasture walk was held at the Adams County CRP Farm in August 2002 to demonstrate and emphasize the benefit of legumes to add diversity in predominantly grassed based pastures. A new “wrinkle” was tried by a farmer hosting a morning pasture walk in September 2002 with breakfast provided to the participants. The producer talked at length about the establishment and management of forages. Fifty people attended these two events in 2002. Field days were conducted for area high school and college agriculture departments in September 2002 utilizing funds from an EPA Environmental Education Grant. A total of 280 students from 10 departments participated. They were given the opportunity to have “hands on” education of the establishment, management and benefit of legumes in a predominantly grass based pasture. The students saw how well legumes are incorporated into the rotational grazing system and utilized at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Southwest Iowa Leaders Tour on August 30, 2004 – 15 leaders toured the demonstration farm and learned how to incorporate legumes into a cool season grass pasture. They also learned of the management necessary to maintain the legumes in the system.

An evening field day on August 30, 2004 attracted 65 producers. They learned how to incorporate legumes into a cool season grass pasture. They also learned of the management necessary to maintain the legumes in the system.

Sustainable rotational Grazing for Beef Cows – Grazing Clinic was held in cooperation with ATTRA on September 3 and 4, 2003. Twenty-five people attended and learned of the contributions legumes make to a grazing system, including providing nutrients, improving soil health, lengthening the grazing season and improving forage quality.
Incorporating legumes into grazing systems can provide many benefits to the farmer in terms of higher production and better quality forage. Because they can replace commercial nitrogen, it becomes economical for the farmer and also better for the environment. More than 500 people had opportunities to witness legumes as a part of a grazing system as a result of this project.

5) Incorporate Kura Clover into a rotational grazing system

Kura Clover is a legume that most producers are not familiar with, but it has shown potential to be very productive in a grazing system. However, it requires special management for establishment. A paddock of Kura Clover was incorporated into the grazing system at the Adams County CRP Farm in 2001. A field day was held at the farm in July to acquaint producers with the forage. Participants left the field day with a better understanding of how to establish and manage Kura Clover. The field day also gave participants a better understanding of how legumes can make a more sustainable grazing system.

A pasture walk was held at the Adams County CRP Farm in August 2002 to demonstrate and emphasize the opportunities Kura Clover provides to add diversity in predominantly grassed based pastures. Twenty-five people attended the event. Field days were conducted for area high school and college agriculture departments in September 2002 utilizing funds from an EPA Environmental Education Grant. A total of 280 students from 10 departments participated. They were given the opportunity to have “hands on” education of the use and benefit of Kura Clover in a rotational grazing system as it is utilized at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm.

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Southwest Iowa Leaders Tour on August 30, 2004 – 15 leaders toured the demonstration farm and learned how Kura Clover could become a part of a cool season grass pasture. They also learned of the management necessary to establish Kura Clover in a system.

An evening field day on August 30, 2004 attracted 65 producers. They learned how Kura Clover could become a part of a cool season grass pasture. They also learned of the management necessary to establish Kura Clover in a system.

Sustainable rotational Grazing for Beef Cows – Grazing Clinic was held in cooperation with ATTRA on September 3 and 4, 2003. Twenty-five people attended and learned how Kura Clover could become a part of a cool season grass pasture. They also learned of the management necessary to establish Kura Clover in a system.

The “jury” is still out on the use of Kura Clover in a grazing system in southern Iowa. The summers of 2002 and 2003 were hot and dry at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm. Kura Clover produced well early in the grazing season but gave very little production in July and following months. This project has given more than 400 producers a chance to know what Kura Clover is and learn of its potential, while also seeing some of its limitations.

6) Conduct ‘Hands-on” demonstrations of establishing a stream crossing/access

Demonstrations on limited access into farm ponds for water were held on three producers’ farms in 2001. Participants had the opportunity to assist in constructing a “floating” electric fence water access. Also demonstrated was a water access utilizing more conventional gates. All of the demonstrations showed producers that the limited accesses are very beneficial to water quality, and they are a safety feature, which can keep livestock from getting stuck in the mud.

A stream crossing was constructed and a field day held in June 2002. Forty people attended the field day. A floating electric fence access into a farm pond was demonstrated at the Water Systems Field day at the Adams CRP Farm in August, which was attended by 80 people.

Demonstrations of a “floating electric fence” used for a water access were a part of a series of meetings in Madison, Warren, Mahaska and Marion counties during the summer of 2003. Sixty people attended these meetings.

Assistance was provided to a producer in Taylor County to develop water access into an existing pond during the fall of 2003. Additional educational activities will follow in 2004 on this project.

More than 200 producers have learned more about stream crossings and water access because of this project. They have learned why they are important because of safety and health to the grazing animals and also because they protect the environment. Producers have seen crossings installed and learned more about their design.

7) Conduct “county level” meetings to transfer improved grazing technology to producers

Field days were held during the winter of 2000-2001 for producers to witness the management of grazing crop residues and stockpiled forage. Many producers could improve their management of grazing these resources, which could help producers reduce their costs. Forty people attended the two field days.

A winter meeting was held in Montgomery County to raise producers’ level of awareness of the benefits of rotational grazing. Producers learned how to progressively implement improvements to their grazing systems.

Winter meetings were held in 3 locations in 2002 (Villisca, Afton and Chariton) attracting participants from 8 counties. Ninety producers attended the events.
Winter meetings were held in 4 locations during the winter of 2003 (Montgomery, Decatur, Union and Lucas Counties). Seventy-five producers participated in these events.

Bringing the information to the producers at small “county level” meetings have been very successful. Producers feel more comfortable because they attend with their friends and neighbors. They also like the meetings because they do not have to be gone from their own operation very long. These meetings are a good opportunity to expose producers to new technology and management and then follow them up with “hands-on” meetings in the field during the grazing season.

8) Facilitate grazing clinics designed for producers ready for the next step in management

Grazing Clinics were held in Adams, Harrison and Lucas Counties. There were 80 participants in the three clinics. Agendas were specific to each site but they all addressed forage management. Participants learned about forage growth and the management of the growth in a grazing system. Utilization and management of cool season grass, legumes and warm season grasses were addressed at the clinics.

Grazing Clinics were held in Harrison, Adams and Appanoose counties in the summer of 2002. One hundred twenty people attended the sessions. Participants learned about forage choices and management, water systems, and limited access to streams and water impoundments.

A grazing clinic titled “Sustainable Rotational Grazing for Beef Cows” was held September 3 and 4 in Corning, Iowa. Twenty0five people from throughout southern Iowa participated in this event. This was done in cooperation with ATTRA. Dr. Ron Morrow and Dr. Ann Wells, DVM, were featured speakers for the event.

Grazing clinics are an opportunity to provide more in-depth information on managing grazing systems. The opportunity to work with ATTRA and their excellent staff at the clinic in September 2003 was especially beneficial to all who attended.

9) Demonstrate the use of a “tree shear” to control “weedy” trees and brush
There were no special field days held to demonstrate the use of a “tree shear.” However, the practice was demonstrated in conjunction with two other events held during the summer of 2001.

Research conclusions:

This project has consisted of demonstration events. Each event focused on a component of rotational grazing systems. Participants were encouraged to use the information from these demonstrations and incorporate them, as appropriate, into their own grazing system. Progress for the implementation of these components will be dependent upon the participants. Each component, when applied, has the potential to benefit producers through the establishment of a more sustainable rotational grazing system.

Fence and water systems demonstrations provided producers the opportunity to better understand and become familiar with two key grazing system components. Producers learned how to install these systems and how to use these components to better manage their grazing system. This can improve the opportunities for profit and protect the environment through better grazing management.

Forage improvement through the use of legumes and/or warm season grass can help producers make their grazing systems more sustainable and profitable. The demonstrations gave producers the opportunity to learn how to introduce other forages into a grazing system. Producers also gained a better understanding of how to manage the forages so they would continue to be a viable part of the forage offered in the grazing system. Improved forage management will help improve production and reduce runoff that may be harmful to the environment.

Through the use of water system demonstrations, producers learned how they could install water access areas into farm ponds. They learned the accesses can be inexpensive but will provide improved water quality. The concept of a rocked access area was also presented from the standpoint of safety to the livestock. Producers learned that in most situations the loss of one cow, because she got stuck in the mud getting water, will more than pay for a limited access area.

The winter meetings and grazing clinics tied many of these concepts together. Producers, who incorporate their livestock, pasture and cropland into their total farming operation instead of separate entities will have more opportunities to realize increased profits and benefits to the environment.

During the year 2002 the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee has been very active with educational activities. The committee has partnered with other groups and organizations to facilitate many of the educational opportunities. Groups we have partnered with include Iowa State University, Iowa Energy Center, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Beef Center, EPA, Iowa Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society and the Iowa Forage and Grassland Council. A special outreach program was implemented to provide “hands on” grazing system establishment and management training to area high school and college agriculture students. These partnerships have allowed us to reach more people and to make limited funds stretch further. More than 1,000 people have participated in the educational events in the year 2002.

During the year 2003 the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee has been very active with educational activities. The committee has partnered with other groups and organizations to facilitate many of the educational opportunities. Groups we have partnered with include Iowa State University, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, ATTRA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Beef Center, and the Iowa Forage and Grassland Council. Part of the mission of the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee is to provide information to the public about the use of management intensive grazing instead of row crops on highly erodible marginal land, as demonstrated on the Adams County CRP Farm. This is accomplished through conferences, tours, demonstrations, displays and talks. Information from the project was presented or displayed at 15 different events during 2003. These partnerships have allowed us to reach more people and to make limited funds stretch further. These efforts allowed us to reach 1,300 people in the year 2003.

Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funds administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have given Iowa farmers more opportunities than ever before to receive cost share and/or financial assistance to install rotational grazing systems and various components of the systems. More than 200 contracts were awarded in Iowa to farmers to assist them to install grazing systems. Many of the components they will install have been demonstrated at the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm or on farms throughout the state. This project has made it possible for producers to be more knowledgeable about new technology available to them. They have also become more comfortable about using this new technology because they have had an opportunity for some “hands-on” education.

It is anticipated there will be a large number of grazing systems contracts awarded through EQIP funding again in 2004. This will mean information from this project being provided to more producers through out Iowa in the coming years.

Economic Analysis

The following report was prepared from information from the “hands-on” fence field day.

Cost Comparisons for Alternative Fence Materials
2900’ of fence at the Adams County CRP Farm – Fall 2000

Overview
In September 2000 a fence was constructed at the Adams County CRP farm. 2,900’ of fence was installed as a perimeter fence around a paddock of Kura Clover and four paddocks of Big Bluestem and Indiangrass. A three wire 12 ½ gauge high tensile wire fence was installed. Two wires will be “hot” and the middle wire a ground. A variety of materials were used in the system to demonstrate a variety of materials to field day participants and future visitors.

Gallagher Power Fence Inc. provided materials, and technical assistance, for approximately 700’ of fence. Additionally recycled plastic products from ERCI (Environmental Recycling Incorporated) were used. Fiberglass “sucker rods” and other fence products were purchased from Schmidt Fencing Inc. and demonstrated in the system. Jason Schmidt provided technical expertise for the project. Other more conventional creosote posts purchased locally were also used.

The fence as constructed displays a variety of products as outlined. However to make a costs comparison the products would need to be used for the entire 2900’. Since that was not possible a bill of materials for each type of product was developed and an estimated cost developed for each. The following assumptions were used to make the estimates.

Assumptions

Material costs were taken from Feeders Grain & Supply, Inc. in Corning, except for the products from ERCI. ERCI provided the materials costs for their products. New prices were used for all products.
Steel Posts 6’ $2.28 each
Creosote Posts 4” x 7’ $6.29 each (Line Posts)
Creosote Posts 5” x 8’ $9.49 each (Corner Posts)
U Braces 9’ $10.95 each
Insultimber Posts 43” $2.10 each (stays)
Insultimber Posts 60” $4.35 each (posts)
Fiberglass Sucker Rods 1” x 72” at $6.95 each
Barb Wire (Red Brand) 2pt 80 rod at $33.25/roll
12 ½ Gauge High Tensile Wire
2000’/roll 1 roll $33.95/roll

Staples, clips and etc. were not estimated for costs in any of the systems. The only materials used in the cost estimates were posts, wire and braces. No labor or equipment rental, such as posthole diggers, was included in the estimates.

New Zealand-Style High Power Electric Fence Hardware
B150 12 volt Energizer* 1 @ $194.95 $194.95
Lightening Diverter 1 @ $6.13 $6.13
Lightening Choke Kit 1 @ $14.69 $14.69
Ground Rods 4 @ $9.69 $38.76
TOTAL MATERIALS $254.53
$0.089/foot

* Adequate for 80 acres

System A
Conventional Barbwire Fence
A conventional barbwire fence system is an attempt to establish a physical barrier to livestock to control their movement. It was assumed posts were placed approximately 12’ apart. Four steel posts were installed between each wooden post. An “H-Brace” was used in lieu of any other type. An estimate was made using 4 strands of barbwire and another estimate was made using 5 strands of barbwire.

Because more wood posts are used and the fence corners are constructed using H-Braces this system requires more labor than some other systems. Labor for this system is estimated at $1.00 per foot.

4-strand barbwire system
Corner Posts 27 @ $9.49 $256.23
Wooden Line Posts 41 @ $6.29 $257.89
Steel Posts 79 @ $2.28 $180.12
U-Braces 17 @ $10.95 $186.15
Barbwire 9 rolls @ $33.25 $299.25
TOTAL MATERIALS $1179.64
$0.407/foot
TOTAL MATERIALS & LABOR $1.41/foot

5-strand barbwire system
Barbwire 11 rolls@ $33.25 $365.75

TOTAL MATERIALS $1246.14
$0.430/foot
TOTAL MATERIALS & LABOR $1.43/foot

High Powered New Zealand-Style Electric Fence

An electric fence system is an attempt to establish a psychological barrier to livestock to control their movement. A low-impedance electric energizer will maintain effective voltage for animal control under adverse vegetative and load conditions. 12.5-gauge high-tensile wire is used for perimeter and permanent fencing. When using this type of electric fence to separate pastures from other landuse areas, a 3-wire system is typically used. A single strand of high-tensile wire is normally adequate for permanent interior paddock fencing.

Labor for electric fence systems is cheaper than for conventional barbwire systems. However labor can vary depending upon the type of corners installed. When more conventional H-Brace style corners are installed, labor, for the entire fence installation, is estimated at $0.55/foot. But when “floating knee braces” are utilized, labor, for the entire fence installation, is estimated at $0.38/foot.

System B
It was assumed “H-Braces” were used at all corners. Insultimber stays were placed every 25’ and after 2 stays an insultimber post was used.
Corner Posts 17 @ $9.49 $161.33
U Braces 10 @ $10.95 $109.50
Insultimber Posts 30 @ $4.35 $130.50
Insultimber Stays 76 @ $2.10 $159.60
Hi-Tensile Wire 5 rolls @ $33.95 $169.75
TOTAL MATERIALS $730.68
$0.252/foot
TOTAL MATERIALS & LABOR $0.80/foot

System C
It was assumed plastic sucker rods were placed approximately every 40’ between each corner post. However they were evenly spaced so the 40’ spacing was variable. Line posts were installed between corners as needed approximately in the middle of the space between corners. They were installed in low areas and on high points. “Deadman” were used in place of corners as needed. To make a “deadman” a line post was cut in half. A “floating or knee” brace was used for corners instead of “H-Braces.” Because all posts were recycled plastics no insulators are needed in this system.
Corner Post 6”x6”x8’ 11 @ $12.00 $132.00
Line Posts 3 ½ ”x7’ 17 @ $7.00 $119.00
Sucker Rods 58 @ $2.00 $116.00
Deadman 4 @ $6.29 $25.16
Hi-Tensile Wire 5 rolls @ $33.95 $169.75
TOTAL MATERIALS $561.91
$0.194/foot
TOTAL MATERIALS & LABOR $0.57/foot

System D
It was assumed fiberglass sucker rods were placed approximately every 40’ between corner posts. However they were evenly spaced so the 40’ spacing was variable. Wooden line posts were installed between corners as needed, approximately in the middle of the spacing between the corners. They were installed in the low areas and on high points. Deadman were used in place of corners as appropriate. To make “deadman” line posts were cut in half. A “floating or knee” brace was used for corners instead of “H-Braces.”
Corner Posts 11 @ $9.49 $104.39
Line Posts 17 @ $6.29 $106.93
Sucker Rods 57 @ $6.95 $396.15
Deadman 4 @ $6.29 $25.16
Hi-Tensile Wire 5 rolls @ $33.95 $169.75
TOTAL MATERIALS $802.38
$0.277/foot
TOTAL MATERIALS & LABOR $0.66/foot

System E **
It was assumed steel posts were used instead of sucker rods. They were placed evenly between each corner post at approximately every 40’. But distances were variable. Wooden line posts were placed between corners as needed, approximately in the middle of the spacing. Line posts were placed in the low areas and on high points. Deadman were used in place of corners as appropriate. To make the “deadman” line posts were cut in half. A “floating or knee” brace was used for corners instead of “H-Braces.”
Corner Posts 11 @ $9.49 $104.39
Line Posts 17 @ $6.29 $106.93
Steel Posts 57 @ $2.28 $129.96
Deadman 4 @ $6.29 $25.16
Hi-Tensile Wire 5 rolls @ $33.95 $169.75
TOTAL MATERIALS $536.19
$0.185/foot
TOTAL MATERIALS & LABOR $0.57/foot

** This system would try to utilize materials a farmer would have on hand. To be consistent, new prices were used in all of the systems. When actually installed a farmer may have some steel posts on hand, may use hedge posts instead of creosote and use some other methods to reduce costs for materials. So material cost could be much less than shown in this fence example.

Funding for this project provided by NCR-SARE (North Central Region-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) and the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee (SIFLC).

Farmer Adoption

There aren’t any statistics to show how many farmers are adopting the technology demonstrated through this project. However, with a record number of farmers throughout Iowa being approved for implementing grazing systems through the EQIP program there will be many of these practices installed on these farms. Farmers will use information generated and distributed by this project and the Adams County CRP Demonstration Farm to improve their grazing systems.

Participation Summary

Educational & Outreach Activities

Participation Summary

Education/outreach description:

PUBLICATIONS
2000 Adams County CRP Project Annual Report

2000 Annual Progress Report for southwest Iowa published by Iowa State University Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station included 2 articles from the project:
Rotational Grazing Demonstrations with Beef Cows on CRP Land in Adams County
Intensive Rotational Grazing of Steers on Highly Erodible Land at the Adams County CRP Project

2001 Adams County CRP Project Annual Report

2001 Annual Progress Report for southwest Iowa published by Iowa State University Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station included 2 articles from the project:
Rotational Grazing Demonstrations with Beef Cows on CRP Land in Adams County
Intensive Rotational Grazing of Steers on Highly Erodible Land at the Adams County CRP Project

2002 Adams County CRP Project Annual Report

2002 Annual Progress Report for southwest Iowa published by Iowa State University Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station included 3 articles from the project:
Rotational Grazing Demonstrations with Beef Cows on CRP Land in Adams County
Intensive Rotational Grazing of Steers on Highly Erodible Land at the Adams County CRP Project
Tire Tank Handout – Recycling on the Farm: Turning Used Equipment Tires into Livestock Water Tanks

2003 Adams County CRP Project Annual Report

2003 Annual Progress Report for southwest Iowa published by Iowa State University Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station included 2 articles from the project:
Rotational Grazing Demonstrations with Beef Cows on CRP Land in Adams County
Intensive Rotational Grazing of Steers on Highly Erodible Land at the Adams County CRP Project

OUTREACH
1) Conduct a “hands-on” demonstration day for installing New Zealand-style electric fence
Field Days – 2000 & 2001 – 40 participants – mostly farmers
Field Days – 2002 – 280 agriculture students from 10 different high schools and colleges

2) Conduct a “hands-on” demonstration day for installing a water distribution system
Demonstration Days – 2001 – three events – 100 participants – mostly farmers
Demonstration Days – 2002 – three events – 175 participants – mostly farmers
Field Days – 2002 – 280 agriculture students from 10 different high schools and colleges
Field Days – 2003 – 105 participants – mostly farmers

3) Incorporate warm season native grasses into an existing grazing system to diversify the forage and lengthen the grazing season
Pasture Walk – 2002 – one event – 25 participants – mostly farmers
Field Days – 2002 – 280 agriculture students from 10 different high schools and colleges
Field Days – 2003 – 105 participants – mostly farmers

4) Demonstrate, in a multi-county area, the management necessary for establishment and maintenance of legumes into grass-based forage using a no-till drill
Demonstrations – 2001 – three events in 3 different counties – 65 participants – mostly farmers
Pasture Walks – 2002 – 2 events – 50 participants – mostly farmers
Field Days – 2002 – 280 agriculture students from 10 different high schools and colleges
Field Days – 2003 – 105 participants – mostly farmers

5) Incorporate Kura Clover into a rotational grazing system
Field Day – 2001 – one event at Adams CRP Farm – 10 participants – farmers and NRCS personnel
Pasture Walk – 2002 – one event – 25 participants – mostly farmers
Field Days – 2002 – 280 agriculture students from 10 different high schools and colleges
Field Days – 2003 – 105 participants – mostly farmers

6) Conduct “hands-on” demonstrations of establishing a stream crossing/access
Demonstrations – 2001 – three events – 100 participants – mostly farmers
Field Day – 2002 – one event at private landowner’s farm – 40 participants – mostly farmers
Water system Field Day – 2002 – Adams CRP Farm – 80 participants – mostly farmers
Water system Field Day/Demonstrations – 2003 – private land – 60 participants – mostly farmers

7) Conduct “county level” meetings to transfer improved grazing technology to producers
Field Days – 2001 & 2002 – 2 events on winter grazing – 40 participants – mostly farmers
Winter Meeting – 2001 – Montgomery County – 25 participants – farmers
Winter Meetings – 2002 – 3 locations (Villisca, Afton & Chariton) – 90 participants – farmers
Winter Meetings – 2003 – 4 locations (Montgomery, Decatur, Union, and Lucas counties) – 75 participants – farmers

8) Facilitate grazing clinics designed for producers ready for the next step in management
Grazing Clinics – 2001 – Adams, Harrison and Wayne Counties – 80 participants – farmers
Grazing Clinics – 2002 – Adams, Harrison and Appanoose Counties – 120 participants – farmers
Grazing Clinic – 2003 – Adams County in cooperation with ATTRA – 25 participants

Project Outcomes

Recommendations:

Areas needing additional study

The primary change most producers have to make when implementing a rotational grazing system is a change in management. In particular most producers need a better understanding of management of the forage. Producers have a limited knowledge of the importance of giving plants a rest and maintaining minimum forage heights. Farmers need to understand this concept to make their newly established rotational grazing system successful.

Protecting streams through managed grazing is another area needing further research and demonstration. A variety of streams with variable sizes of drainage areas and different types of banks and stream bottoms (hard rocky and soft muddy) need to be studied. The water system alternatives if livestock are excluded from streams need to be a part of this study.

Alternative energy water systems such as wind and solar power for large herds (50+) need to be demonstrated. This can be very important because many pastures are not located close to an existing electrical power supply.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.