Influence of Grazing Management Strategies on Forage Quality/Production and Animal Performance in an Ontario Cow Calf System

St Peter, Jade
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

These studies sought to develop best grazing management practices for optimizing forage growth/production and cattle performance. Cow-calf pairs grazed from May through September to evaluate the effectiveness of set stocking, rotational, strip, and continuous grazing management regimes on animal performance and forage growth. While different grazing methods did not increase forage biomass, sward height or animal performance, intensive grazing management (strip, rotational) was found to increase grazing days and dry matter intake as a percentage of body weight. A second study evaluated fall stockpile grazing using yearling heifers to evaluate grasses, alfalfa or birdsfoot trefoil effectiveness in an extended grazing system. The study found harvesting forages more than once prior to grazing may decrease available pasture during the fall and decrease grazing days. Heifer performance was not affected by pasture forage species. Considerations to forage/grazing management can directly benefit producers by lengthening the grazing season in both Spring and Fall.

Grazing, Cow-calf, Beef, Rotational, Set Stocked, Continous, Stockpiling, Strip grazing, Extended grazing