Pasture forage quality and yield response to irrigation, N fertilizer, and organic amendments

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $69,852.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Matching Federal Funds: $157,329.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $13,871.00
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
William Murphy
University of Vermont

Annual Reports


  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers, tissue analysis
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: soil analysis

    Proposal abstract:

    This research will be used as a focal point to invite 10 experienced (60 total) and 5 inexperienced graziers (30 total) to each of two, 3-hour-long pasture walks per season to learn about the research and basic and advanced aspects of management-intensive grazing. On the Forgues Family Organic Dairy Farm, near Alburg Springs, Vermont we will study pasture forage yield and quality under management-intensive grazing with treatments of: irrigation or nonirrigation, and eight levels of soil fertility treatments (0, PKlime, NPKlime, fish, fish/seaweed, crab shell, and two levels of dairy manure compost). Research results, including economic analysis of all treatments, will be published as they are obtained in the Vermont Grass Farmers Association newsletter. At project end, research fact sheets will be sent to all NE organic farming organizations, Extension, and NRCS directors. Results also will be published in a journal.

    Performance targets from proposal:

    Graziers will learn techniques that will help them either to begin using or improve their use and profitability of management-intensive grazing. Thirty experienced graziers will adopt at least two practices: a) pasture dry matter estimating, b) feed planning, c) phenological timing of N fertilization, d) pasture irrigation, or e) use of organic soil amendments; 10 inexperienced graziers will begin using management-intensive grazing.

    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.