Grazing in the Dairy State
This report summarizes statewide information about Wisconsin dairy producers who use pasture and managed grazing as feeding and farm management tools. Surveys from random samples of Wisconsin dairy farmers conducted over the last decade by the Program on Agricultural Technology Studies provide information on how many farms, cows and acres are involved with managed grazing, […] more
Specialty Cheese in Wisconsin: Opportunities and Challenges
The specialty cheese industry is one arena in the Upper Midwest where some dairy farmers can earn more than commodity prices for their milk. But like any business venture, making, marketing and distributing specialty cheese is not easy. Commodity cheese production in Wisconsin attracts most of the attention and resources. This report examines and describes […] more
The Social Implications of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing: An Annotated Bibliography
Management Intensive Rotational Grazing represents an increasingly attractive option for dairy farmers looking to cut costs and boost profits. The number of Wisconsin dairy farms practicing grazing has tripled in less than a decade. Academic literature on grazing has flourished along with the practice, but there is little available that summarizes grazing studies. There is […] more
Pastures of plenty: Financial performance of Wisconsin grazing dairy farms
Farms using managed grazing typically produce less milk per cow than confinement farms. However, a series of economic studies in Wisconsin and elsewhere show that, for many dairy farmers, the savings they realize using managed grazing more than offsets the loss in milk revenues due to lower production. These studies show that grazing farms are […] more
Dairy Goat Enterprise Budget
CIAS has developed a spreadsheet to help farmers make financial and management decisions about new or existing dairy goat enterprises. It is applicable to most kinds and sizes of enterprises. This budget was developed using Microsoft Excel 2000. If you are running a much earlier version of Excel and can not open this file, please […] more
Flavor, not health claims, key in marketing pasture-based cheese (Research Brief #66)
A small but growing group of consumers is paying attention to the health benefits of milk and meat from animals raised on pasture. Meat and milk from grazed ruminants have higher levels of "good fat" than ruminants fed stored feeds. Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is one of those "good fats." Some people claim that CLA can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, enhance immunity, reduce cholesterol, and replace fat with muscle. Can dairy farmers raising cows on pasture capitalize on these health claims with specialty cheese?
Ovsynch results variable on grass-based dairy farms (Research Brief #61)
To take maximum advantage of pasture growth, dairy farmers using rotational grazing often have a short (less than 3 month) spring calving window as a goal. But this is difficult to achieve. CIAS-supported research on a Wisconsin grazing farm shows that the Ovsynch breeding program, while successful on confinement dairy farms, can be problematic on grazing dairy farms.
Holstein steers show good gains on kura clover (Research Brief #59)
Is kura clover a good legume choice in rotationally grazed pastures? A study conducted at the UW Lancaster Agricultural Research Station says yes, with excellent beef production on kura clover/grass pastures. Kura's persistence and leafy growth led to higher Holstein steer growth rates on kura/grass pastures than red clover/grass pastures.