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Study Shows Rotational Grazing Adoption Varies by Region

Dan Cattle, Pasture, This Land of Ours, USDA-ERS

A study sheds light on grazing practices around the nation. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.

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Data published Monday by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) shows rotational grazing adoption varies by region. Rotational grazing is a management practice in which livestock are cycled through multiple fenced grazing areas to manage forage production, forage quality, animal health, and environmental quality.

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In a recent study, USDA researchers found the highest rate of total rotational grazing adoption, at 49 percent of operations, in the Northern Plains and Western Corn Belt region. The lowest participation level, at 25 percent, were operations in the Southern Plains region. Basic rotational grazing was more common than intensive rotational grazing in all but one region.

USDA says the exception was the Appalachian region, where 25 percent of cow-calf operations used intensive rotational grazing, and 22 percent used basic rotational grazing. Major drivers for regional differences in adoption could include varying forage types, which may respond better to rotational grazing than others, and differing climates.

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Rotational Grazing Adoption Varies by Region

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.