Cover Crops and Forage Grazing Training Program in North Dakota

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2018: $74,855.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2021
Grant Recipient: North Dakota State University
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Marisol Berti
North Dakota State University


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management, grazing - continuous, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, winter forage
  • Crop Production: catch crops, cover crops
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, workshop

    Proposal abstract:

    Research in cover crops management practices and soil health benefits has been going on for at least the last five years in North Dakota. However, using cover crops for grazing both as full season or fall grazing is quite new for growers in this area. In our previously funded PDP in cover crops (2015-2017), interest of using cover crops for grazing was a topic at almost every meeting and field day. Cover crops provide opportunities to use cropped land for grazing livestock. Livestock grazing on cover crops can further recycle nutrients back into the soil. It is our goal to bring to extension agents and farmers the knowledge acquired by NDSU researchers in cover crops for grazing. Our proposal has the two main components of a successful educational project: 1) Good and complete local information collected in the field through replicated trials and on-farm experiences, and 2) farmers in North Dakota eager to learn about the wonders of cover crops grazing. Our target audience will be farmers mainly from North Dakota, but not limited to only our state. We propose to train county extension agents, educators, and farmers about cover crops for grazing. We seek an increase in adoption and the integration of cover crops into farm operations. As a result of this project, at least 10 county agents and 80 farmers in North Dakota will learn about cover crops grazing in several activities.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    a. Increased knowledge of farmers about cover crops grazing management and soil health
    b. lncreased awareness and knowledge on how to use cover crops to animal nutrition and environmental impacts of cover crops grazing
    c. lncreased adoption of diversified cropping systems that includes a cover crop for grazing during late fall and winter and improved attitude towards incorporating cover crops into their cropping system.
    d. Selection and use of high yielding cover crops for grazing adapted to North Dakota
    e. County agents from North Dakota with improved knowledge and skills on cover crops uses and management.

    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.