Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 26, 2006
Publication Date: June 26, 2006
Citation: Brink, G.E. 2006. Grazing-Based Dairy Production in Wisconsin.In: Proceedings of the Illinois Extension Grazing Group, June 26, 2006, Madison, Wisconsin. Technical Abstract: Confinement and grazing-based dairy producers face many challenges, including rising cost of inputs (labor, fertilizer, energy, machinery), economic disadvantages relative to commodity feeds, potential negative environmental impacts, legislation restricting operations, and variable climatic conditions. While the total number of dairy farms in Wisconsin has been declinig since 1990, the proportion of farms employing management intensive rotation grazing (MIRG) has increased to about 24%. The average number of cows on confinement farms has increased from 60 to 110 cows during the same period, while the number of cows on grazing-based farms has remained at about 50 cows. The proportion of dairy farms employing MIRG is greatest in southwest and northcentral Wisconsin. Future grazing research efforts at the USDFRC will focus on improving pasture utilization, development of improved adapted varieties, improving persistence of forage legumes utilizing a range of ARS, University of Wisconsin, and private partnerships.