By improving agronomic and grazing management practices, researchers and producers have increased the yields of crops seeded for swath grazing. This has reduced overwintering feed costs for the cow herd. Aspects of swath grazing that could be improved are the overall nutritive value of the swathed-grazed crop and weathering during fall, winter and spring, which reduces carrying capacity.
Research currently underway and funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster is working to further improve pasture carrying capacity and reduce overwintering costs by evaluating new annual forage varieties and developing management strategies with improved forage quality that can be maintained throughout the swath grazing season.
This research will provide recommendations that would reduce the daily feed cost per cow, make the swath grazing system more flexible, allow cows to maintain good body condition during extremely cold conditions without supplementation, and allow swath-grazing to be used over a broader geographical area.
To learn more, see the BCRC fact sheet: http://www.beefresearch.ca/factsheet.cfm/improved-swath-grazing-through-new-annual-forage-varieties-and-grazing-management-149
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