News to Use: Livestock and Grazing

Becky Daugherty

Delaware County SWCD

Pasture Walk

Darrell Brown, right, led a lively discussion regarding rotational grazing, pasture maintenance and plant identification, and fencing options during our workshop on Oct. 3. Darrell suggested one of the best first steps is to do a soil test to know what the nutrient and pH levels are and determine if adjustments are needed. Repeat in 4 to 5 years if only grazing, every 2 years if hay is made. Another tip was to purchase seed from a seed company, not a box box store, to receive expert help and know you're getting quality seed. He also mentioned the old saying and "good rule of thumb" --- Graze Half, Leave Half --- as leaf removal affects root growth and plant sustainability. Thank you to our hosts, Boren Farms, our participants, and our partners: Blackford , Madison, & Grant Co. SWCDs, NRCS District Conservationists, and Purdue Extension - Delaware County.

How Grazing Cover Crops Can Help Soil, Livestock, and Financial Health

Recent research (conducted over the past four years) featured in the Successful Farming Magazine suggests that by planting cover crops that cattle are able to graze, farmers can save money on expenses like hay and labor.

Planting cover crops like cereal rye can serve as perfect feed for cattle and has reliable growth in the fall. Meghan Filbert of Practical Farmers Iowa recommends that planting cover crops as early as possible by interseeding and giving the crop more days to grow, farmers can grow more forage for grazing and reap the largest profit possible. (Megan Vollstedt, Successful Farming Mag.).

How Grazing Cover Crops Can Help Soil, Livestock, and Financial Health

You can now manage your conservation activities and request assistance from USDA through a new feature on These conservation features join several others already available through the portal, including the ability to view farm loan information.

Using a desktop, tablet, or phone, the “Conservation” feature enables you to:

  • View, download and e-sign documents;

  • Request conservation assistance;

  • Reference technical terms and submit questions;

  • Access information on current and past conservation practices; and

  • View detailed information on all previous and ongoing contracts, including the amount of planned and received cost-share assistance.

Currently, access is only available for customers doing business as individuals.