Fenceless Grazing

Project Overview

ONE07-070
Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2007: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Christopher Dutton
Vermont Technical College

Commodities

  • Agronomic: grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animal Products: dairy

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage

    Proposal abstract:

    Forage utilization in livestock pasture grazing systems is dependant on the grazing intensity and pressure of the livestock. Grazing intensity and pressure are commonly managed through the implementation of fencing systems. Current systems are relatively expensive and take large amounts of time, and energy to manage and install well. It is our belief that fencing systems which require less labor are more likely to be utilized in ways which promote maximal forage quality and utilization. Maximal forage utilization reduces a farm’s dependency on imported concentrates or forages and improves the sustainability of Northeast farms.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Inexpensive technology that will locate an animal’s position is currently available. Systems which restrain dogs within certain areas are also currently available. We propose adapting a wireless dog restraint system for use in restraint of young grazing dairy heifers as a first step towards developing a wireless livestock restraint system for livestock.

    Upon completion of our study we hope to know what type of wireless restraining collar and what settings are most useful for livestock restraint. We hope to determine and communicate the best method for training heifers to a restraining collar. If successful we will compare this grazing technique with traditional paddock fencing systems to demonstrate that a grazing system’s ease of use greatly improves the potential for better pasture utilization practices.

    We have not been able to find reference to any similar projects on the world wide web. As far as we know this project will be the first of its kind.

    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.