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Joe Cattle Pasture Minnesota

Pasture - Minnesota

NRCS promotes prescribed grazing and improved forage management by providing technical assistance to private landowners.

Pasture Land Use

Grazing lands are an important part of farms across Minnesota.  Given the importance of grazing lands to the overall production of these farms, it makes good sense to implement grazing management practices that will maintain and improve pasture resources.  Grazing management can be applied with any type of pastured livestock, such as beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, and bison. 

Grazing management comes down to managing the forage plants found in pastures to optimize their growth.  These plants need moisture, sunlight, and nutrients, but how well those plants can use those resources directly depends on how grazing is managed in those pastures.  To fully utilize those resources, consider the following three elements of grazing management: (1) leave forage behind when moving animals to new pastures to avoid over-grazing, (2) provide adequate rest for plant recovery, and (3) limit the amount of time animals spend in a paddock to minimize re-grazing of individual plants.  That sounds simple, right?  Well…it does take some planning to determine how grazing management can fit into your operation and landscape.  NRCS staff can assist you with developing grazing plans that meet your operational and production goals for your pastures and livestock.  Whether your goals involve increasing forage production, improving water access for your livestock, or extending the grazing season through stockpiling forage or grazing cover crops on cropland, NRCS can assist you with meeting these goals along with many other goals you may have.

NRCS Practices to Help Meet Your Goals

Watering Systems
Pasture Seeding
Prescribed Grazing
Other Practices

Additional Resources

Several resources are available to get you started with improving your pastures.  Refer to the following publications for more information:

​​​​​​​Do you want to see how producers in Minnesota are improving their grazing management?  Check out these great videos!

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