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Intensive Management Pays Off

Management Intensive Grazing

A common concern brought producers from across the Great Plains to the Management Intensive Grazing seminar May 17-18 in Greeley.

About 75 farmers, ranchers and extension agents gathered at the session to hear speakers from Colorado State University, University of Nebraska and the University of Wyoming. The event was sponsored by Colorado State University Extension program, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and Barenbrug Seed.

Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) is the continual monitoring of pasture to obtain the optimal quality and quantity of livestock feed.

"Focusing on the man in management is the key to success," said Bruce Anderson, of the University of Nebraska. "It takes knowledge, experience and work to manage grazing lands."

An increasing interest in grass and grazing arose from the need to find a different mode of agricultural production.

"Agriculture is suffering," said Don Hijar, Pawnee Buttes Seed Company manager. "The commodity prices are low and the cost of inputs is increasing."

"In Colorado we've got to do things differently," said Sandy Girtler, Stillroven Ranch owner. "MIG in this area is still new, so we're all learning. The clinic has grown every year with more people interested in alternatives."

The morning seminars covered rangeland and pasture management, including seed selection, fertilization, irrigation, as well as weed control and drought management.

Afternoons allowed participants to visit the Stillroven Ranch and Equus Farms. The Stillroven field visit offered grass drill demonstrations and seeding preparation. A tour of Equus Farms range sites gave seminar participants a look at native and improved ranges.

With the management intensive grazing, many have had success where other crops have failed productively or economically.

"We have had excellent success," said Girtler. "We run more cattle on less acres of pasture more efficiently."

For more information, contact your county office of Colorado State University Extension.

-Kristen Andrews


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