Livestock heavy use pad made from sawmill byproducts.

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2010: $5,780.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: preventive practices
  • Education and Training: demonstration

    Proposal summary:

    Mud! My biggest obstacle is dealing with wet weather in the fall and winter. The mud takes a toll on me as a farmer and on the livestock, as they waste energy moving through the mud at times on the farm. Additionally, the high quality forages I am raising in the paddocks gets impacted in a negative way when the livestock tromp on it in wet weather. Most paddocks on our farm are designed for 1-2 day grazing periods. We currently have a concrete lot designed for 60 head. I do not have a good holding or feeding area to use for when the weather gets wet and stays wet until late spring. I can graze through much of the early winter but wet weather can seriously damage paddocks for the following year. In my area the winters are relatively mild and most cattle are wintered outside. Cattle winter well on our southeastern Ohio hills, however, when wet weather hits, erosion and plant growth disruption can be a serious problem. The reason this project would benefit other cattlemen in my area is that there are many producers with similar situations. It would also benefit other areas of the North Central Region. Our area of Southeastern Ohio also has the benefit of many local sawmills. One of these sawmills is located close to my farm. This sawmill burns its slabwood because it cannot market it or sell it. This sawmill also gives away its sawdust for free. The sawmill owner is a cattle producer and we have been discussing the possibility of creating a layer of slabs and coating them with sawdust to use as a feed pad. The major obstacle is the labor to haul the materials and level out the pad. Through this project, we would document the cost of labor, equipment and supplies for the project as well as the useful life of the pad to determine its cost effectiveness to other producers. The main benefits of this project are that there is an abundance of this material available in our area. It would improve the environment for the cattle during wet conditions. It would also reduce erosion and improve water quality in local streams adjacent to wintering locations.

    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.