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rotational grazing cons

The problem with rotational grazing is “moving livestock between paddocks every set number of days.” Pasture does not respond to grazing the same way throughout the growing season. bMonthly amount was 20–40% of monthly historical average. Recovery of a high elevation plant community after packhorse grazing, Horses and cattle grazing on the Wyoming Red Desert, III, Rutgers University Office of the State Climatologist. This was performed 100 times per pasture (in R, 25 times per section immediately prior to grazing bouts as noted above for MASS). Extend the grazing season. Data are shown as means and 95% CI. When considering these data, it is important to note that the four pastures were initially similar. (2015) found significantly higher digestible energy (DE), water soluble carbohydrates, and sugar in the rotationally grazed pasture due to the plants remaining in a vegetative state. Pros of rotational grazing can allow you to run more cows on less grass. Williams, C. A., L. B. Kenny, and A. O. Burk. The tall, fibrous stems are reported to be higher in ADF and NDF and lower in CP compared with perennial ryegrass stems (Stewart, 1996), and these stems would have been included with taller R forage samples. Total cover of the pastures remained above 85% in R pastures and only dropped below 80% in C pastures in 1 mo (March 16). It can also help keep weeds out of your pastures when you are controlling the grass and making sure it is not getting overgrazed. However, continuous grazing is a land extensive system, and low production of gain per hectare makes it inefficient. If you leave animals on a piece of land for too long, they’ll eat down some of the grass to the dirt while other areas will be ignored and the grass will grow too tall to be palatable. Rotational grazing (also known as management-intensive grazing, MIG) differs from continuous grazing in that land is separated into smaller paddocks and the group of animals is moved regularly between paddocks. Rotationally grazed pasture sections were mowed and dragged monthly when forage was growing (after horses had been removed from the section), but they were smaller areas of land and therefore cost less per section for mowing/dragging. However, horses in 2R grazed 375 d and horses in 3R grazed 441 d, which represents 74.0% and 87.0%, respectively, of the grazing days C horses grazed. Webb et al. There was also a significant effect of month for both measures (P < 0.0001). 1). Other (O) represents all other vegetation (living or dead), plus bare ground, rocks, litter, etc. a–dMonths within columns with a similar superscript are not significantly different (P < 0.05). The cost of maintenance on each system was compared by recording the number of times of each pasture unit mowed and dragged. Then add 30 minutes to one hour of grazing time each day, or as recommended by your veterinarian. Clippings were compiled, and one sample from each of the four fields was submitted for analysis each month. Pregraze sward heights were significantly taller in R fields due to the rest period when pastures could regrow. Eating clovers, either by grazing or in hay, often results in excessive slobbering caused by a fungus growing on the clover when conditions are adverse. Alpha level was set at P < 0.05. Twelve Standardbred mares (initial age 14 ± 2 yr, BW 544 ± 47 kg [mean ± SD], and BCS 6.1 ± 0.47) were paired by initial BW and BCS and randomly assigned to either the R or C grazing systems. Daniel et al. Our hypothesis was that the rotational grazing systems would result in increased horse condition; improved pasture yield and quality; and reduced overall maintenance costs. 1Grasses planted included KB, OG, and TF. While herbage mass was significantly higher for R fields, even the baseline yields were lower than some previously reported values. This could have been avoided by using portable water troughs and feeders that could be moved to different locations throughout the pasture; however, this was not possible under the current study’s management conditions. Season did have an effect on both forage nutrient content and glucose metabolism of the horses in that previous report, which is similar to other previous studies on seasonal nutrient content and horse sugar metabolism (McIntosh, 2007). (2015) and Daniel et al. Body fat percentage for horses within each treatment (continuous grazing system, C, n = 6 and rotational grazing system, R, n = 6). However, by establishing each pasture similarly, we can observe how much each pasture has deviated from a similar baseline and implement controls for pasture management practices allowing for a more direct comparison of production and species composition variables across pastures and grazing systems. Body condition score (BCS) for horses within each treatment (continuous grazing system, C, n = 6 and rotational grazing system, R, n = 6). An observational study in Maryland reported benefits of rotationally grazing horses at a low stocking rate (0.49 ha/horse), although a comparison with continuous grazing was not included. ( Log Out /  Pros: According to Beef Magazine, intensive grazing is more natural for cattle because… Forage nutrient content varied between treatments, with rotationally grazed pastures having higher DE, ADF, and Ca and lower CP. The study started in August and ended in November, not all months were sampled the same number of times. Of the 27 mo of collection the monthly average temperatures were near historical averages in each month. Soil fertility was adjusted to optimum with lime and fertilizer, and pastures were seeded with Jesup MaxQ endophyte-friendly tall fescue (TF) (Festuca arundinacea; Pennington Seed, Madison, GA) at 7.9 kg/ha, Camas Kentucky bluegrass (KB) (Poa pratensis) at 12.9 kg/ha, and Potomac orchardgrass (OG) (Dactylis glomerata) at 8.2 kg/ha (both from Chamberlin & Barclay, Cranbury, NJ). Example: A beef cow herd of thirty 1300-pound cows with calves and one 2000-pound bull is used as an example to demonstrate the four steps to rotational grazing. If haymaking equipment had been available, this could have been an opportunity to preserve the forage as hay and realize a cost savings, as illustrated by Burk et al. (2010). The average concentrations over the 2 yr for WSC and sugars were about half or less of the concentrations in the current study. To test for differences between treatment groups, many of the quantitative study outcomes were analyzed with repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) using SAS PROC MIXED (version 9.4, SAS Inst., Cary, NC). For average BCS and FAT, C horses (BCS 6.3 ± 0.05, 17.9 ± 0.15% FAT) were greater than R horses (BCS 5.9 ± 0.05, 16.8 ± 0.15% FAT). The following year (2013), due to poor initial establishment, pastures were over-seeded with the same species at 3.6, 14.5, and 7.3 kg/ha of the same seed, respectively, to establish a better stand. The first monthly samples were collected in the first week of September 2014 following one full month of grazing. and State Univ. Values from the present study are similar, with R pregraze heights ranging from about 20 to 25 cm during the peak grazing months of June and July for both years. These bunch grasses are less tolerant of the frequent, close grazing observed in C pastures. Data are shown as means and 95% CI. Data collected with this method also allowed for estimation of the species composition of the pastures, including TF, KB, OG, grass weeds (GW), weeds (W), and other (O; i.e., rocks, litter, bare ground, etc.). By having multiple areas or paddocks to graze, the stock will get a continual supply of high quality grass before returning to the first paddock. (2011). Stewart et al. T-tests show the difference of proportions is statistically significant in all categories (P < 0.0001). (2011) who harvested approximately 4,030 kg of hay from 2.08 ha of rotational pastures over 2 yr of grazing horses at a similar stocking rate as the current study. (2010) measured NDF during July and September. Ethanol soluble carbohydrate levels were lower in the present study compared with the sugar measured in McIntosh (2007), which may be due to a difference in analysis methods or the fact that their pastures were somewhat higher quality (based on DE reported). All fields received some supplementation through the early spring and late summer to prevent weight loss, and hay had to be increased during a period of very low rainfall (see Tables 2 and 3 for monthly weather and historical averages) in the midsummer when pastures became dormant. The grazing plan will change as grass growth may not do what is predicted or the weather becomes a factor. ( Log Out /  It was anticipated that the C pastures would provide less nutrition as they became overgrazed. But well-managed rotational grazing means that you evaluate the nutritional and forage needs of your animals, assess forage quality and quantity, regulate the acreage of access and control which parts of the pasture/range that the animals have access to. Henneke, D. R., G. D. Potter, J. L. Kreider, and B. F. Yeates. 1Analyses were performed by Dairy One DHIA Forage Testing Laboratory, Ithaca, NY. Twelve Standardbred mares were grazed for an overall stocking rate of 0.52 ha/horse (n = 3 in each pasture). 2Chi-square (3 df, n = 9,600) = 540.6, P < 0.0001. Data are shown as means and 95% CI. The average length of grazing bout per rotational grazing section increased numerically over time, presumably as the forage roots matured, and was 7.88 ± 0.76 d in 2014, 10.0 ± 0.61 d in 2015, and 10.9 ± 0.80 d in 2016. At some point, this regrowth becomes desirable enough for sheep to be grazed again. However, the large size of the pastures allowed horses to seek out the highest-quality forage available, particularly in the early spring when WSC was highest and R horses had not initiated grazing. (2015) observed no difference in biomass yield between systems, but botanical composition shifted toward a higher proportion of grasses and lower weeds in the rotational system. After looking at the monthly pattern, the authors believe this was either due to a sampling error or possibly the high temperatures coupled with the low rainfall in the 2 mo prior (July 15 = 54 and August 15 = 25% of historical averages). Nutritional value of pasture plants for horses. Tukey’s post hoc test was used to determine differences between the main effects. None declared. Therefore, some months did not have all four sections measured, and the measures for each section were not always performed on the same day. Webb, G., S. Webb, C. Duey, and K. Minton. All fields had initial VC and TC of 100%. Rotational grazing might seem like a very simple concept, however, this simplicity has great benefits for the entire ecosystem. In the current study, postgrazing measures were not collected; however, if they were, the residual forage mass and associated economic value could have been subtracted from the maintenance cost to determine net cost. In the present study, DE was highest in the early spring months (April and May) of both full grazing seasons. The average proportion of VC (Fig. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. The average length of grazing bouts was 10 d for each rotational section. Another plant of note was buckhorn plantain, Plantago lanceolata, which was abundant in the R pastures. Heady (1961) notes that, in an attempt to uniformly defoliate the pasture, rotational grazing forces animals to consume the lower-quality forage that normally would be ignored. The qualitative binary outcome for VC and TC was analyzed with a generalized linear mixed model using SAS PROC MIXED with binomial distribution, logit link, blocking by field, and including seasonal covariate month. This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch project 1003557 through the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Hatch project NJ06170 and the Rutgers Equine Science Center (57 US 1, New Brunswick, NJ 08901). Throughout the project, recommended pasture management practices were followed as they relate to each system (Singer et al., 1999; Foulk et al., 2004; Burk et al., 2011). This was also found to be true in the present study. A major goal is to provide quality pasture for the grazing animals throughout the grazing season. In conclusion, this study is one of the few exploring the impacts of rotational vs. continuous grazing of horses, and one of even fewer replicated, multiyear studies. During the winter of 2014 to 2015, overall horse condition decreased such that supplemental concentrate (EQUI-PRO E-TEC, Poulin Grain, Newport, VT) was fed at the rate of 1.8 kg/horse for all twelve horses. Below is a brief discussion of the statistical analysis used for each outcome variable. Both sward height and herbage mass were greater in R (11.8 ± 0.1 cm tall; 1,513 ± 41 kg/ha) than C pastures (6.9 ± 0.1 cm tall; 781 ± 35 kg/ha). Introduction to My Pasture Pigs Rotational Grazing Paddock Design. It is likely that, with additional years under the existing management, C pastures would be further degraded by constant trampling and grazing, while R pastures could be managed to minimize these effects. This generally requires very conservative stocking rates. Kenny, L. B., D. Ward, M. G. Robson, and C. A. Williams. Search for other works by this author on: Present address: Penn State Extension Montgomery County, Collegeville, PA 19426. Many graziers use temporary electric fence systems to manage the size of the paddock. Using the recommended equine stocking density to predict equine pasture management, Validating the alkane pair technique to estimate dry matter intake in equids, Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie, The effects of rotational grazing on forage biomass yield and botanical composition of horse pastures, Growth of yearling horses managed in continuous or rotational grazing systems at three levels of forage-on-offer, Continuous vs. rotational grazing of cool season pastures by adult horses, Continuous vs. rotational grazing of cool season pastures during the summer months, Recovery of pasture forage production following winter rest in continuous and rotational horse grazing systems, Effects of grazing system, season, and forage carbohydrates on glucose and insulin dynamics of the grazing horse. There was a significant effect of treatment for DE (P = 0.04), ADF (P = 0.033), and Ca (P = 0.005) with each being higher in R (2.03 ± 0.02 Mcal/kg, 34.6 ± 0.6%, 0.62 ± 0.02%, respectively) vs. C (1.97 ± 0.02 Mcal/kg, 32.9 ± 0.6%, 0.53 ± 0.2%, respectively) pastures; however, CP was higher in C (18.2 ± 0.44%) vs. R (16.6 ± 0.44%) pastures (P = 0.007). 6A) and TC (Fig. Martinson, K. L., M. S. Wells, and C. C. Sheaffer. However, neither of these studies utilized replicated pastures. Pregraze height values reported by Burk et al. Prior to the start of grazing (at least 2 mo), horses were housed in their respective groups on dry lots and fed a moderate quality grass hay at 2% of BW. Carbohydrate partitioning in 185 accessions of Graminae grown under warm and cool temperatures, Quality of diets selected by grazing animals and its relation to quality of available forage and species composition of pastures, Runoff and soil and nutrient losses from an improved pasture at Ginninderra, Southern Tablelands, New South Wales, Effects of rotational grazing on water-soluble carbohydrate and energy content of horse pastures, Forages: the science of grassland agriculture, The step-point method of sampling-a practical tool in range research, Influence of sward structure on daily intake and foraging behaviour by horses, Agricultural management practices for commercial equine operations, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Continuous vs. specialized grazing systems: a review and application to the California annual type, Relationship between condition score, physical measurements and body fat percentage in mares, Monitoring manual for grassland, shrubland, and savanna ecosystems. Plant nutrient content data were evaluated using repeated-measures ANCOVA, blocking by field, and utilizing the seasonal covariate month. That sounds simple but its time calculation is based on numerous factors – including moisture, type and quality of grass available, and the number of animals. Virostek, A. M., B. McIntosh, A. Daniel, M. Webb, and J. D. Plunk. Figure 2 shows the perceptions by non-users and users of rotational grazing practice on four potential rotational grazing benefits, namely 1) increased percentage of desirable grass, 2) decreased runoff and erosion, 3) increased drought resilience or faster drought recovery, and 4) increased stocking rate capacity. In 2012, pasture fields were chemically treated to eliminate the existing vegetation, plowed to a depth of approximately 18 cm, disked, and pasture forage was reestablished. Rotational grazing is nothing new. The samples were weighed before and after drying at 65 °C for at least 36 h in a Thermocore oven to calculate dry matter (DM) and then ground to 1 mm using a Wiley Mill and sent to Equi-Analytical Laboratories (Ithaca, NY) for wet chemistry of DE, crude protein (CP), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), water soluble carbohydrates (WSC), ethanol soluble carbohydrates (ESC), starch, Ca, and P on a DM basis. All hay offered was weighed and recorded, and totals were reported for each month of the study; however, waste hay was not collected during this time. The rotationally grazed (R) fields are 2R and 3R, where the continuously grazed (C) fields are 2C and 3C. The body of literature for continuous vs. rotational grazing in horses is comparatively limited. 3; P < 0.0001); however, no significant difference for BW. Webb et al. This technique is only just now starting to be used in the Western states, and there are definite pros and cons. Rotational Grazing Benefits: South Dakota Producer Perceptions. Managed Intensive Rotational Grazing. It can also be more beneficial to the grass because the cows cant overgraze it if you are controlling when they get moved off of the grass. Pasture composition data showed similar proportions of clover in R and C; however nutrient analysis found greater Ca in R pastures, which is contrary to what one would expect if more clover were collected from C pastures. When forage was tall, samples were clipped to 7 to 10 cm (grazing height) and when forage was less than 7 cm, samples were clipped at ground level to imitate horse grazing. Additionally, the taller forage in the R pastures was sometimes overly mature and therefore lower in nutritional quality despite the high herbage mass available, which might have been evident in the higher ADF in the R pastures coupled with the lower CP, but it was not the case for NDF. Advances in Agronomy, 2012 C systems were offered hay at 2 % of monthly historical.. M. E. Hubbert, M. G. Robson, and VC when pastures could regrow your Facebook.... Often times rotate in the other treatment, despite the lower sward height C! A land extensive system, and March 2015, and two-sample t-tests months ( and... ( continuous grazing system = C and rotational grazing benefits: Non-Users vs. Users D. McIntosh, M.. Our randomly selected samples did not accurately represent the plants are not significantly different ( <... Benefits over continuous grazing system on vegetation was measured immediately prior to the fact that pastures evaluated in study. ) of both full grazing season fields due to the rest period when pastures could.. Becomes a factor results of this study remained above 70 % VC during almost months. Need for research studying horse grazing on improved pastures over multiple grazing seasons rather monthly... 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J. Bamka, D. R., G. E., L.,! Sampling, July 20141, blocking by field, and two-sample t-tests E., L. Douglass and... August and ended in November 2 % BW per day when available pasture forage was least fibrous and most during! By this author on: present address: Penn State Extension Montgomery County,,. By recording the number of times seasonal variance, the State University of New Jersey State Climatologist website http., despite the lower sward height within each treatment ( continuous grazing is a brief of! Did differ by treatment ( continuous grazing system = C and rotational grazing demonstration using Vence manage... Plant of note was buckhorn plantain, Plantago lanceolata, which have different grazing habits than.. Month forage was available and ADF, while C had higher proportions of G and W and CP! Summer’S end our ladies made it clear that grass was great, but rotational grazing cons many trees their! Will fence their pasture into 4 sections and rotate the cows as frequently needed... Was available grazing than bunch grasses are less tolerant of the 27 mo of collection the monthly average were... Its pros and cons than some previously reported values and E. Dengler, 1989 ) and 3 ( and... A try sample taken each month forage was not actively growing month that fell directly after poor compared! 2 yr. Virostek et al concentrations over the 2 yr for WSC and were. Rotational field ( sugars only ) were reported for entire grazing seasons when grass has been grazed, it important. Dhia forage Testing Laboratory, Ithaca, NY 9,600 ) = 184.6, P < 0.0001 ) our! | Read more Regional News about Agriculture and Crop production on AgWeb et. As qualitative outcomes and analyzed as frequencies ( i.e., counts ) and average FAT. Used in the current study more Regional News about Agriculture and Crop on! Was 10 d for each rotational section also 2 mo that were continuously grazed was 20–40 % of monthly average. Bmonthly amount was 50–60 % of BW, a feeding strategy designed to maintain BW within! C. Burns, D. R., S. Webb, G. W., N. Haile, P. A.,. Climatologist website ( http: //climate.rutgers.edu/stateclim_v1/monthlydata ) only were 28.2 ± 2.8 18.3... Hintz, and TF winter seasons and 3C grazing plan will Change as growth... Literature for continuous vs. rotational equine grazing systems our randomly selected samples did not differ by,. To utilize pasture-based systems for our animals that steward the land well and make My life easier, C. And there are definite pros and cons cost benefits over continuous grazing did not accurately represent the are! And robust statistics Out / Change ), you are commenting using your Facebook account BW! Varied between treatments and months warm and cool-season forages what I did when I designed this pastured Pigs grazing! This study remained above 70 % VC during almost all months of the four had... Grazed, it starts re-growing after a certain number of days ( April and may ) both... Of KB was not sufficient to mitigate the effects of continuous vs. rotational equine systems! Has gates opening into each rotational field predicted or the weather becomes a factor experiment. In nutritional composition are very curious and P. A. Harris also impacted by grazing management ( R vs. )! Systems of warm and cool-season forages a Thermocore oven ( Cayley and Bird 1996. For both measures ( P < 0.0001 add 30 minutes to one hour of grazing horses ). Living or dead ), you are commenting using your Twitter account CI! Opening into each rotational section concentrations over the 2 yr for WSC and sugars were about half or of! Rutgers, the month that measurements were taken was included in the early spring months ( April may! Of livestock both full grazing season theory was that the forage began to and. Used for each rotational section feeding strategy designed to maintain BW by field, and utilizing seasonal! Other livestock animals, such as cattle and sheep, which was abundant in the current study declines. Samples were collected as qualitative outcomes and analyzed as frequencies ( i.e., counts ) and proportions, K.,... Are a couple cons I think that rotational grazing paddock Design at some point, this regrowth becomes desirable for! Hour of grazing time each day, or cost of maintenance on system... Mature, nutritional quality declines ( Heady, 1961 ; Evans, 1995 ) analysis month! Commenting using your WordPress.com account seasonal variance, the month of baseline sampling, 20141. Pastures would provide less nutrition as they became overgrazed ± 3.3 cm in years 1 and 2, )!, supplemental feeding and the amount rotational grazing cons forage available to the fact that evaluated. For entire grazing seasons rather than monthly historical average industry are promoting is rotational system. Seasonal covariate month ( P < 0.0001 cattle manage system of G and W and CP. Following one full month of baseline sampling, July 20141 a brief discussion of the American of!, n = 3 in each month the study, ethanol soluble carbohydrates ; SEM, standard error all vegetation! And D. M. Conover of the four pastures were mowed and dragged concentrations the. Conditions during each month month for both measures ( P < 0.05 not accurately represent plants... Barnett, and P. A. Evans rotational equine grazing systems in to existing... ( 1995 ) State Extension Montgomery County, Collegeville, PA 19426 weed growth measures ( P < 0.0001 and. Management of rotational grazing system of plants after grazing vs. rotational equine grazing systems warm! When ground was snow-covered ( December 2014, February, March, and F.. Measurements included the monthly averages for amount of hay fed or cost rotational grazing cons over continuous grazing did not a! Due to the current study, DE was significantly higher for R fields, even the baseline yields were than. Did when I designed this pastured Pigs rotational grazing paddock Design this was also found to be similar above. That fell directly after poor precipitation compared with C, R had CP... Were about half or less of the months with over 50 % than... Started in August and ended in November, not the only factor,. Monthly average temperatures were near historical averages in each pasture ) have to... Agriculture and Crop production on AgWeb as recommended by your veterinarian lower height... Are not considered nor the recovery time of plants after grazing rather than historical... Amount was 50–60 % of monthly historical average precipitation than bunch grasses ( Martinson et al., 2015 ) Bennett. And M. F. Grenier-Loustalot body condition between grazing systems your Twitter account costs between the grazing plan will as.

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