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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Research Project #443790

Research Project: Effects of Rotation Length on Animal Performance, Pasture Productivity, Weed Encroachment, and Delivery of Ecosystem Services of Grazing Systems

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Project Number: 5090-21500-003-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2023
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

The overall objective is to compare the effects of two rotation length strategies of rotationally stocked grazing systems. The two treatments consist of daily movement of animals versus once-per-week movements to new paddocks. This experiment will compare pasture productivity and animal performance as they are related to grazing management strategies. Sub-objectives in this study include economic analyses of performance metrics to relate to real-world scenarios, as well as to evaluate the weed populations in these systems.

The experiment will be conducted at the Lancaster Agricultural Research Station located in Lancaster, WI for two consecutive years (2023 and 2024). Prior to the start of the first year of data collection, the cooperator will be focused on preparing the experimental site by ensuring infrastructure is adequate, in relation to animal fencing and water for grazing animals. Data collection will begin in mid-May of each of the two years. Pasture sampling will occur on a bi-weekly basis, and cooperator will be responsible for collecting the data. Pasture related responses include herbage mass, herbage accumulation, pasture nutritive value, and weed population. Animal related responses will include average daily gain and gain per area.