Past Project

Rotational grazing impact on increasing pasture yields on Ontario Community Pastures

Executive Summary

This project will set out to demonstrate that a rotational grazing system that utilizes a minimum of 10 grazing cells will improve animal performance and increase the forage productivity of the pasture. This research/demonstration project will investigate and demonstrate the benefits of a managed grazing system that moves cattle to a fresh paddock or grazing cell every 1-3 days, the reported benefits include improved grass growth, improved animal performance and increased productivity of the pasture unit.

This research project will utilize one pasture or management area of approximately 200 acres at the Victoria and Grey-Dufferin community pastures. The pastures will be cross fenced into 10-12 paddocks. The cattle will be moved to a new paddock every 1-3 days and the remaining paddocks will have an opportunity to rest, re-grow and recover from their most recent grazing. It has been shown in a number of cases that this rest and recovery time can contribute significantly to improved grass growth and allows the pasture manager to offer quality forage to the grazing livestock throughout the grazing season.  The cattle will be weighed at the start and end to determine the total gain that was realized from the pasture. These gains will be compared with historical gains from the same management area.

Forage samples will be taken at 2-4 week intervals from a paddock that the cattle are entering and again when they leave that paddock 1-3 days later. These samples will be analyzed for protein, TDN and digestibility to determine the forage quality that is being consumed.

Expected Completion:        2015

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