Planning Sustainable Grazing Systems

1998 Annual Report for ENC98-032

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1998: $45,740.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2001
Matching Federal Funds: $37,980.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $37,980.00
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Coordinator:
Mark D. Boswell
Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee

Planning Sustainable Grazing Systems


The objective of this proposal was to provide training on planning sustainable grazing systems. Specific objectives include students able to:

1) Explain the ecological, aesthetic and economic implications of pasture as a landuse.

2) Determine animal nutrient requirements and use of forages in a grazing system to help meet these requirements.

3) Identify how soils affect forage production and grazing management.

4) Explain how plant growth affects management of forages, estimate forage yield and its effect on animal performance, and the management of major forage species to improve its utilization.

5) Identify water sources and how to use them in a grazing system. In addition, the student will be able to express the benefits to water quality and herd health with the exclusion of livestock from ponds and streams.

6) Match animal forage needs to grazing system design, including all grazing system components such as fence, water sources and distribution systems and forage species.

7) Understand how to develop and organize outreach programs that include pasture walks and small group meetings to gain producer acceptance of sustainable grazing system concepts.

The target audience for this training was NRCS and Iowa State University Extension field staff. In addition, CHIPS technicians, Iowa Division of Soil Conservation employees, veterinarians and others were given an opportunity to be a part of this training.

All of the targeted groups have the opportunity to work with livestock producers. This training will make these groups more prepared to provide assistance to their clients to assist them in planning sustainable grazing systems. In addition, they will be more prepared to provide assistance to producers in the management of these systems once established.

Three days of training were scheduled to complete the necessary training. Dates of the training were established during different times of the growing season. The first session was held in May, the second in September and the third in January. This training schedule was selected to coordinate with the different phases of the grazing season and the challenges and opportunities provided by each. Spreading these days throughout the year better fits the schedule of the participants. Training is offered at three different locations in Iowa.. This also works better for participants.

There are 65 registered for the course. The professional demographics of this group are as follows: NRCS staff - 36, ISU Extension staff - 5, Iowa Division of Soil Conservation employees - 5, CHIPS Technicians - 5, veterinarians - 11, and producers - 3.

For more information:
Mark Boswell
Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee
603 7th St.
Corning, IA 50841
515-322-3184 (ph/fax)
[email protected]