Converting Expiring CRP to Grazing: Considerations
Over the years, your fields enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) have supported the growth of valuable grasses and forbs with root systems that have held the soil and build up of organic matter. Consider developing a sustainable grazing system on your expiring CRP fields to maintain soil condition while returning the field to profitable use.
The following elements should be determined when developing a grazing plan on CRP.
Kind of grasses in the field
Determine from past grazing records or clipping and estimation
Current forage quality
Is there an excessive thatch buildup?
Consider haying or burning to improve initial forage quality
Determine the appropriate stocking rate
Based on a balance of forage production and livestock needs
What style of grazing management will best achieve our objective? Consider rotation schedules, intensity of management
What practices are required to implement the grazing system? Fence, water, livestock handling facilities
Match periods of livestock nutritional needs to the
growth periods of the predominant plants in the CRP fields.
Where to get help
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office for technical assistance in determining current forage production and in development of grazing plan alternatives as well as financial assistance options.
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