Cattlemen's Tour Views Grazing Alternatives

By Pete Koss, Livestock Production Specialist (LPS)

Posted: 1/27/2023

ProVision Partners Cooperative and its beef customers get much of our nutrition information from the University of Wisconsin. However, we’re always looking at beef cattle operations in other areas of the country to see what they are doing and find out if it will work here in Wisconsin.

In September, a half dozen ProVision Partners producers and I joined a North Central Wisconsin Cattleman’s Tour of three beef farms in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We also visited the Michigan State Research Farm at Chatham, Michigan. The farms, located at Garden, Chatham and Cook, MI, offered us a look at three alternatives to grazing: intensive, rotational and windrow.

In October, the producer practicing windrow grazing goes out and cuts a portion of his hay crop into windrows. When his pasture runs out, he gives his beef herd a windrow at a time, which takes the herd into December or January without any hay supplementation. Once the windrows are gone, he rolls out round bales to feed the herd until spring.

The advantages of windrow grazing are being able to pasture the cattle longer and spreading manure more uniformly across the field as the cattle move from windrow to windrow.

University Research

As I said, we also visited the Michigan State University Research Farm at Chatham, which is currently doing a research trial on beef animals. The current trial involves supplementing angus steers with guanidinoacetic acid to improve average daily gain and feed efficiency. Farm manager Paul Naasz and his staff played a big part in coordinating the tour and deserve much of the credit for this two-day event.

ProVision Partners Cooperative was honored to participate and helped support the tour. If you would like to hear more about what we saw on the tour, feel free to contact me at 920-366-6313 or call any ProVision Partners LPS.

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Cattlemen's Tour Views Grazing Alternatives

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