Encouraging Managed Grazing in Michigan

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2005: $9,245.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Grant Recipient: Straub Family Farm
Region: North Central
State: Michigan
Project Coordinator:
Howard Straub
Straub family farm

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops


  • Education and Training: general education and training

    Proposal summary:

    Demonstration grazing projects will be conducted on farms of members of the Michigan Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative as well as my own farm. Barriers to implementation of a managed grazing system converted from continuous grazing systems or livestock confinement are not well understood in Michigan. We have selected factors in a managed grazing system which may be perceived as too great a risk to make the change. We suspect that:

    1. Pastures are not being fertilized to meet the potential yield for forage production and this limits the success of pasture based livestock operations; 
    2. Graziers do not have and/or do not use management tools to evaluate pastures and so continuous grazing and confinement systems remain as part o the livestock operations.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objectives of this project are to encourage managed grazing adoption through field day activities that

    1. Demonstrate forage production in nutrient limiting and fertilized pastures on several soil types in Michigan

    2. Demonstrate the use of pasture dry matter management tools such as grazing sticks, rising plate meters, pasture condition scoring, and forage management calendars to verify the effectiveness of the tools and the ease of use.

    3. Provide Michigan graziers with tools adapted for the state.

    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.