Management Intensive Grazing and Continuous Grazing of Hill Pasture by Beef cattle.
Amanda Hensler1, David J. Barker2, Mark Sulc2, Steven Loerch3, and Lloyd Owens4. (1) Ohio State University - OARDC, Ohio State University, 20355 Mill School Road, Guysville, OH 45735, (2) Ohio State University, Department of Horticulture & Crop Sciences, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1086, (3) Animal Science, Ohio State University - OARDC, 114 Gerlaugh Hall, Wooster, OH 44691, (4) USDA-ARS, PO Box 488, Coshocton, OH 43812
Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) is an increasingly used practice that can offer producers many benefits including higher profit. The main objective of this study was to compare MIG and Continuous Grazing (CG) practices on pastures in Appalachian Ohio. The study was conducted at the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed (NAEW) located in Coshocton, Ohio. A total of four replicated pastures were evaluated during the study. A total of 35 cow-calf pairs were split between the four replicated pastures based on the amount of acres in each of the pastures. Forage biomass, botanical composition, and cattle performance were measured during the study. Forage biomass was measured using a rising plate meter (RPM). RPM measurements were taken every week in each pasture beginning 17? April 2007. Botanical composition and forage decomposition rate was measured 3 times during the grazing season. Cattle weights were recorded every 28 days. The cattle on the MIG system were able to graze 17 days longer than those on the continuous system. Cows on the continuously grazed pasture had an average weight gain of 51.2 kg per cow while cows on the MIG gained an average of 61.8 kg per cow. The continuously grazed calves gained 214.5 kg per calf while the MIG calves gained 219.9 kg per calf