Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #402004

Research Project: Improving Sustainability of Dairy and Forage Production Systems for the Upper Midwest

Location: Environmentally Integrated Dairy Management Research

Title: Year-round grazing systems in North Florida: Is it possible?

item DUBEUX, JOSE - University Of Florida
item Jaramillo, David
item GARCIA, LIZA - University Of Florida
item SANTOS, ERICK - University Of Alberta
item BRETAS, IGOR - University Of Florida
item BERNARDINI, IGOR - University Of Florida
item BERNARDINI, MARILIA - University Of Florida
item TRUMPP, KEVIN - University Of Florida
item PORTUGUEZ, JAVIER - University Of Florida
item KOURY, HELENA - University Of Florida
item ODOUR, KENNETH - University Of Florida
item RUIZ-MORENO, MARTIN - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2023
Publication Date: 2/10/2023
Citation: Dubeux, J., Jaramillo, D.M., Garcia, L., Santos, E., Bretas, I., Bernardini, I., Bernardini, M., Trumpp, K., Portuguez, J., Koury, H., Odour, K., Ruiz-Moreno, M. 2023. Year-round grazing systems in North Florida: Is it possible?. Extension Publications. Extension Panhandle Ag e-News. Available at

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Year-round grazing systems are viable in North Florida. Our aim is not to minimize the importance of conserving forages as silage or hay, which is always important because of the weather uncertainties. However, if grazing is possible throughout the year, we should try to develop such a system because of reduced off-farm inputs and offsetting farming costs. When grazing, cattle return most nutrients back to the soil, reducing the need for larger amounts of industrial fertilizer application. Harvesting costs are also eliminated, since the grazing animals will do the harvesting. Furthermore, labor, machinery use, and fossil fuels can also be minimized in year-round grazing systems. Diversifying forage species, improving management, and rotating pasture areas within the farm are key aspects to achieving year-round grazing. This year we had a proof of concept at North Florida Research and Education Center in Marianna, that it is possible to develop year-round grazing systems by having a bahiagrass pasture overseeded with cool-season forages, and stockpiled limpograss to bridge the fall forage gap. Forage legumes could be the “cherry on the cake” by adding nitrogen and reducing nitrogen fertilizer costs. Clovers during the cool-season and rhizoma peanut during the warm season could help offsetting nitrogen fertilizer costs.