Utilizing Breeding Ewes' Grazing Abilities for Pasture and Crop Residue to Lengthen the Grazing Season
Because of sheep grazing behavior, agricultural producers used flocks to improve native grass production.
Objectives: 1) To demonstrate the ability of the breeding ewe to use non-productive, unsuitable cropland and row crop residue to lengthen the grazing season, 2) to augment pastures through supplementation of identified deficiencies to maximize forage production, 3) to efficiently use pastures for a sheep's maximum nutritional benefit through intensive pasture grazing management, and 4) to acquire measurable data about the profitability of intensively managed pasture and extended grazing seasons of corn, soybean, alfalfa and wheat residue.
The producer mapped soil and grass types of her pastures, with sensitivity to highly erodible soils and environmental protection managed ecosystems, using demographic ASCS maps.
The producer collected grass samples from each paddock for typing and identification. Depending upon the data, the producer introduced various adaptable species into different paddocks. Through soil test results, the producer concluded manure applications could fertilize the pastures and control unwanted weeds.
Results: The project was delayed due to drought that prevented fall grass seeding and fencing of the perimeter and paddocks.