Since it was created in 1989, CIAS has supported grazing research. We take a systems approach that unites grassland management, animal nutrition, economics, marketing, rural sociology, and the environmental benefits of grazing. One important goal of our work is to strengthen links between researchers and the grazing community.
Grass-Based Dairy Products: Challenges and Opportunities
There is growing consumer interest in dairy products from grass-fed cows. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental, health and taste benefits of eating dairy and other animal products from livestock fed using managed grazing. If this interest translates into demand, it may open new value-added markets for farmers who use managed grazing. more
Grass Clippings: February 2009
Grass Clippings features grazing research from the University of Wisconsin and beyond. In this issue: Fertility and pastures, beef and dairy cattle gains on different pastures, beef cattle on pasture and supplements, and Gildersleeve accepts Extension grazing job.
Tradeoffs in ecosystem services using warm-season grasses in managed pastures (Research Brief #78)
Farms provide the food, fiber and energy that people need. Farms also benefit society by providing services that may not earn money, but support functioning of the ecosystem. For instance, farms can provide carbon sequestration, water purification and wildlife habitat. The extent to which they provide these services depends on their management. more
Forage Fescues in the Northern USA
Tall fescue, meadow fescue and festulolium have potential value as forages for grazing operations in the northern USA. Meadow fescue is the most cold tolerant of these grasses, with excellent forage quality and palatability, and relatively high drought tolerance. Tall fescue has the highest yield potential, good palatability for soft-leaf varieties and excellent heat and […] more
Does pasture-finished beef make the grade? (Research Brief #77)
Finishing beef animals on pasture can potentially reduce the overhead costs of facilities and equipment compared to confinement finishing. Researchers at UW-Madison set out to learn if beef animals finished on pasture can make the Select and Choice quality grades for conventional meat markets. more
Tall fescue and Kura clover for dairy and beef stockers (Research Brief #76)
Do orchardgrass, fescue or legume/grass combinations produce more meat on growing, pastured beef animals? Do beef steers, beef heifers or dairy steers show the most gain on pastures? Researchers in the departments of Animal Sciences and Agronomy at UW-Madison recently finished a three-year study to answer these questions. more
How does Managed Grazing Affect Wisconsin’s Environment?
In Wisconsin, the prevalence of livestock and dairy farming has led to questions about how animal agriculture affects the environment. Many farmers who practice managed grazing have observed environmental benefits resulting from this management system. What have scientific studies shown about the effects of managed grazing on the environment? This report presents results from papers […] more
Custom Raising Dairy Heifers: Expectations and Perspectives of Wisconsin Dairy Producers
This survey explored the views, opinions and perceptions of Wisconsin dairy producers about custom grazing heifers. Findings included: All types of Wisconsin dairy producers perceive that grazing has positive implications for the health and productivity of dairy heifers. In order to appeal to Wisconsin dairy producers, potential custom grazing heifer operations must be cost competitive. […] more