You can consider grazing as an option whether you are a dairy, beef, stocker, or replacement cattle grower, sheep, goat or equine operation, or any other type of livestock producer. Is there any help to get started on grazing? There are many sources of assistance. Federal and State government assistance and technical help is available for graziers, as well as a strong network be-tween farmers, agencies, and businesses that work together to help grazing grow in Pennsylvania
Why manage? Many pasture problems such as slow growth, weed inva-sions, and bare ground, are caused by the pasture man-agement methods being used. Good management is the key to healthy, productive pastures that lead to healthy, productive animals. Rotational Systems Livestock systems that rely on continuous grazing are often over and under grazed. When livestock are allowed to graze freely they eat the best forage first. If these plants are not al-lowed time to regrow, they will die and over time the pasture will decline in productivity. Rotational grazing is designed to let forages rest between grazings so that they can grow back more quickly. The more paddocks and the more frequent the rotation, the healthier the pasture.
Managed grazing assistance available from USDA-NRCS Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Environmental Quality Incentives Program ACEP provides financial assistance to eligible partners for EQIP provides technical and financial assistance to ag-purchasing Agricultural Land Easements that protect the ricultural producers in order to address natural resouce agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land. In concerns and deliver environmental benefits through the case of working farms, the program helps farmers keep conservation practices or activities. NRCS will help eligible their land in agriculture. participants develop an EQIP plan of operations and, once implemented, payments will be made. Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) For example: After implementing the NRCS Prescribed CSP is available in selected watersheds throughout Grazing practice, farmers recieve a flat rate payment. This the state. This program rewards good stewards by practice involves creating a grazing plan, with the help of awarding incentive payments on practices that have NRCS, that considers the resources on the farm and the been established and maintained as a part of a con- landowner’s goals and provides the steps to follow the servation plan in previous years.
Conservation Technical Assistance Other grazing practices covered by EQIP:
This FREE assistance does not provide cost sharing for prac- tices, but it does give the famer a great tool for successful • Fencing • Water Well grazing. The NRCS provides technical personnel trained • Watering Facility • Water Control to develop grazing plans, give suggestions, and help pro- • Pipeline Structures ducers with their questions. Grazing land specialists are • Trails and Walkways • Roof Runoff Structures available upon request to the Field Office (FO), while FO • Heavy Use Area • Access Control personnel are available to visit and discuss any questions • Forage Harvest • Livestock Shelter about NRCS programs that you may have. Assistance in- Management Structure cludes stocking rate calculations, seeding recommenda- • Riparian Herbaceous • Prescribed Burning tions, fencing and water system designs, dry matter intake Buffer • Feed Management assessment, and others. For technical assistance, just call, • Riparian Forest Buffer • Forage and Biomass email, or visit any NRCS office! • Stream Crossing Planting • Grassed Waterway • Brush Management • Spring Development • Pumping Plant