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Pastureland Ecology I (NRCS-NEDC-000030)

Overview

This course examines the interaction of soil, water, air, pants, animals, humans (SWAP + H), and the pastureland ecosystem. Instruction is designed to analyze various scenarios in animal foliage management. The scenarios are set in the context of plant morphology and growth factors; herbage mass and animal intake; pasture design systems and animal production goals. It course conducts economic analysis of planting, fertilization and grazing management as well as practical application of pasture design, fencing, watering, and feed rotation.

Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe ecological implications of pasture as a land use;
  • Determine how soils and landscape position impact pasture, forage production and its uses by grazing animals;
  • Explain the role of grazing management and plant decomposition on nutrient recycling in grassland-based farming systems;
  • Explain animal nutrient requirements to meet various animal production goals;
  • Explain how plant morphology and growth factors influence the harvest and grazing management of forages;
  • Predict changes in botanical (plant type) composition of forage mixtures and explain why the changes occur under specific management practices;
  • Estimate the herbage mass (amount of dry forage yield) in a pasture and explain how it is likely to affect animal intake and subsequent performance;
  • Match growth curves with animal demand, pasture rotation frequency and pasture design;
  • Explain how management (plant age, fertilization, species, stubble height, etc.) affects forage quality;
  • Design pasture systems including fencing, livestock drinking facilities, and trails to achieve desired level of forage use, nutrient recycling and animal performance; and
  • Develop a farm plan for specific animal enterprise which will include economic analysis, planting and fertilization recommendations, grazing management practices, animal capabilities and feed budgeting.

Prerequisites

Recommended but not required that participants have attended the course “Working Effectively With Livestock Producers”

Duration

6 days

Target Audience

Employees responsible for leadership in the grazing lands discipline. Employees with 3-5 years of pastureland planning assistance

NEDC Contact

Michael Trusclair

Technical Specialist

Kevin Ogles

Enrollment

Go to AgLearn to request enrollment in Pastureland Ecology I (NRCS-NEDC-000030).