Animal Production

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Grazing Cover Crops and Advancing Farmer Networks in Wisconsin

Farming can be a community practice; however, farmers are increasingly “siloed” on the farm. As farms get bigger, help becomes scarce. Small towns lose coffee shops and feed mills, the social hub where farmers once shared information. With support from a $39,900 NCR-SARE Partnership grant, Dane County Land Conservation was able to support and create […]

Growing the Pasture-Grazed Dairy Sector in Wisconsin

Growing the Pasture-Grazed Dairy Sector in Wisconsin is the summary report of a team of researchers, dairy farmers and chefs who conducted a comprehensive investigation of the chemical and physical properties of pasture-based milk when made into cheese, butter or other products. The group, led by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, also explored the production, […]

Video: Improving Forage Production and Quality with Native Legumes

NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program grant recipient, Craig Maier, discusses the research his team conducted to learn more about improving forage production and quality with native legumes in grazed warm-season grass stands. They are researching how plant species of the eastern tallgrass prairie, specifically native perennial legumes, can be established as part of a […]

Bale Grazing to Build Soil Health

Erin and Drew Gaugler are exploring and documenting the impact of bale grazing on their North Dakota farm. Outreach activities like their "mailbox tour" are helping the siblings share their findings with neighboring producers.

New Research Tackles Concerns About Grazing Corn Residue

Since the 1850’s, several states in the North Central region have dominated corn production nationally, earning the nickname “The Corn Belt.” It should come as no surprise, then, that corn residue is abundant in the region. Rick Rasby, Associate Dean of Extension, professor, and Beef Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) says corn residue can […]

North Coast Lamb Co-op: Using Carcass Scanning for Producer Production Criteria

In 1865, the National Wool Growers Association was formed. This first-ever national livestock association in the U.S. laid the groundwork for the organization we know today as the American Sheep Industry Association (American Sheep Industry Association, 2018). “The American Sheep Industry may be the oldest livestock organization in the county, however, American lamb consumption and […]

Optimal Flock Size for Pasture Raised Layers

A number of growers, especially those on small or mid-scale diversified farms, are choosing to raise poultry in alternative ways, many of them reliant upon pasture. Aaron Brower, along with his wife Mary, own and operate Bluestem Farm, a diversified, 4-season farm in Northern lower Michigan. They raise certified organic vegetables on 10 acres. They […]

Feasibility, Planning, and Purchase of Mobile Processing Unit (MPU)

Pasture poultry, with its quick turn-around and minimal equipment needs can be attractive to small farmers looking to diversify their farming operations. Chris Sramek is a pasture poultry producer and a member of the High Plains Food Co-op (HPFC); in 2013, customer interest in their poultry was so high that the producer members were unable […]

Economics of Grazing and Haying Cover Crops in North Central Kansas

Grown on an estimated 10 million acres across the country, cover crops are becoming an indispensable part of crop rotations. To maintain this momentum, the development of reliable information at the local level—how to craft a diversified rotation that pays—needs to keep pace with growth in farmers’ interest. That is what motivated Josh Roe to […]

Developing Michigan’s Local, Pasture-Based, Beef Production System

Whether it’s on dinner tables, in restaurants, in schools, or at markets, consumers are seeking more local food. More than 167,000 U.S. farms produced and sold local food through direct marketing in 2015, representing $8.7 billion in revenue (USDA-NASS, 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey). In 2010, the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation and Michigan […]

South Dakota Rancher Explores Sustainable Livestock Fly Control

Linda Simmons is a cattle rancher in Twin Brooks, South Dakota. Beef and sheep producers in northeastern South Dakota depend largely on native rangeland, and there are several species of flies that can cause serious economic losses there. Several years ago, Simmons experienced a failure with her feed-through insecticide plan. “We had a terrible incident of […]

Mob Grazing Increases Efficiency and Profitability of Livestock Production

Mob grazing is a recent development in grazing management that uses extremely high stocking densities for short periods of time to improve soil health, pasture productivity and carrying capacity. Alexander “Sandy” Smart is a professor of Natural Resource Management in Range Science at South Dakota State University. He has a passion for the preservation of […]

Confinement Building Redesign Sheds ‘Sunlight’ on Animal Welfare

Paul Sobocinski  has a 240 acre crop and livestock farm that includes hogs and cattle. In 2001, he received a SARE grant for the conversion of an existing pole barn to a deep bedded sow and piglet nursery. In 2012 he received a second NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant for $7,450 to renovate an existing 24 […]