ISU comprehensive pasture management guide revised

An updated guide to pasture management is available from Iowa State University.

A new version of an iconic Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach publication has been released, providing updated information to livestock producers who are looking to increase production and returns by improving management of their grassland areas.

“Pasture Management Guide for Livestock Producers” (AS 14) has been completely updated and revised for 2018, giving livestock producers a practical guide to assist in making management decisions for their herds.

“In the 20 years since this publication was originally released in 1998 the amount of information we have on grazing systems and the services they provide has increased exponentially,” said James Russell, professor emeritus of animal science at ISU. “Pastures have always been important in terms of livestock production and soil erosion, but we have increased our knowledge of the importance of grazing systems and what they can mean for water quality, soil health, wildlife and other ecological services.”

The publication was written by ISU Extension and Outreach specialists from a cross section of disciplines, providing their expertise on topics including managing pasture plants, grazing livestock management, planning for improvements in grazing systems, monitoring and evaluating the grazing system, managing risk in grazing systems and much more.

The 167-page publication is filled with color photographs that provide examples of the material being discussed. Illustrations also help present information on topics such as forage growth and how to design a pasture system.

“We have seen an increase in the implementation of rotational grazing through improved grazing management over the last 20 years, although there is still more we can learn and better implement,” Russell said. “In addition, we have also increased our knowledge of cover crops and annual forages to improve overall productivity. With the continued trend of loss of grazing land in Iowa, it makes it more important than ever to improve productivity and quality of the grazing land we have left and continue to maintain them.”

Copies of the publication are $10 and are available through the ISU Extension Store at store.extension.iastate.edu, enter the product identification number, 5256, in the search field. — ISU Extension

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