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Temperate Climate Pasture Crops and Management

Grazing Links Ruminant Physiology Disease Controls Water Management Hay Wind Breaks, Hedgerows, Alley Cropping Annual Grazing Moving Animals Abattoirs Books

Grazing Management Links:

Oregon State - harvest at late boot for maximum cellulose Univ of Wisconsin - late boot / early bloom for bypass protein Journal of Equine Veterinary Science - list of weeds high in sugar that can aid fermentation. VABF - Greg Judy High density grazing. VTForages - Jim Gerrish - Winter grazing, energy to protein ratio VTForages - Jim Gerrish - winter grazing, partial grazier eOrganic - winter stockpiling Mark Bader - grazing eOrganic - Sarah Flack, preventing pasture problems Good discussion of characteristics of grazing varieties. VTForages - Silvopasture overview, Honeylocust Forest Connect - Silvopasture examples, Honeylocust Plants cannot utilize full sunlight. VTFORAGES - Joshua Dukart, at 20:25 the examples become very good Improving pasture with Mycorrhizae Twice over grazing management for increase in Mycorrhizae. Cornell University - forage and grazing management Encyclopedia of Animal Science - forage toxicity ATTRA - pasture PDF index Multiple PDF on pastures. Free Choice Enterprises Free Choice Enterprises ration balancing for beef nutrition. Montana State University Use goats and sheep to control invasive weeds.

Ruminant Physiology:

FAO - ruminant digestion

The micro-organisms that ferment cellulose are different from the ones that ferment grains. The flora that ferment cellulose use ammonia as an energy source. Rumen fermentation will break down most of the ingested protein to form this ammonia. Therefore, in pure forage fed animals, most of the protein used for animal growth comes from dead bacteria cells that are the product of cellulose fermentation or bypass protein.

Center for Natural Resource Information Technology

Grazing Management; an Ecological Perspective - Excellant description of ruminant digestion including pre-gastric fermentation, energy from cellulose fermentation producing fatty acids, nitrogen used by microbes for protein synthesis, protein absorption from microbe cell bodies in the post fermentation gastric system, by-pass or escape protein to supplement microbial protein, cool weather grasses being more nutritious than warm weather grasses, compensatory gains, ATP production and usage, etc.

Mark Bader - effect of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon
Barbara Niwinska - ruminant digestion
Penn State - Terminology

Deeper explanation of forage quality terminology.

South Dakota State - terminology
Respiratory Quotient

During cold weather, most ATP production comes from converting fat. During warm weather, most ATP production comes from carbohydrates.


Links to Natural Disease Controls:

Although cattle, sheep and goats share relatively few parasites, they do share the following economically important parasites: Teladorsagia (OstertagÓa) circumcinta, Trichostrongylus axei and colubriformis, Cooperia surnabada, Haemonchus contortus, Nematodirus sp., etc. However swine, poultry, and equine share very few parasites with any other animal group. These groups can be used as part of a rotation to reduce disease and parasites.

Lists of Shared Diseases
University of Pennsylvania - Cooperia
University of Michigan
Barber Pole Worm

Parasite Lifecycles
FAO - parasite lifecycles
Chinchilla Vet - parasite lifecycles - parasite lifecycles
University of Maryland - parasite lifecycles
University of Wisconsin - parasite lifecycles

Integrated Pest Management for Livestock.

FAMACHA system for selecting resistant animals.

Ecological Agriculture Project
Alternative methods for controlling internal parasites in ruminants.

Virginia State
Seasonal cycle of parasites due to moisture.

Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont

University of Kentucky

Skylines Farm
Skylines Organic Internal Parasite Control.

University of Connecticut
Alternative medicine links.

Livestock Research for Rural Development in India

Cattle Today - disease control
List of some of the most common diseases.

Cattle Today - bull management
Preventing disease in bulls.

Country Farm Lifestyles

Stockman Grass Farmer

Water Management:

Use permaculture and silvopasture techniques to create micro-habitats. Use swales, berms, ditches, dry wells, etc. to control flooding and droughts. Plant trees and shrubs that are both fairly water and drought tolerant on the downside of the berm where drought tolerance is not as important and roots can grow under the berm to help secure it. On top of the berm, plant extremely drought tolerant grasses, legumes, forbs, and bushes as understory.

John D. Liu
Mark Shepard
Berms and Swales
Keyline water management Australia
Water and soil erosion in Wisconsin
Soil erosion in Africa

Trees, shrubs, and vines which are the most tolerant of waterlogged soil are listed in the links below. They should be planted on top of the berms. The most water tolerant are Black Willow, Serviceberry, American Persimmon, and Cottonwood. Moderately flood tolerant includes Honey Locust, Mulberry, Blueberry, Pecan, Tulip Tree, Seaberry, Aronia, Elderberry, Blackberry, Honey Berry, Raspberry, Ginkgo, Cranberry, Cornelian Cherry, Viburnum, Redbud, Paw Paw, Hickory, etc. One advantage of swales and berms is that the water should naturally be very well oxygenated so plants have a better chance of long term flood tolerance.

USDA Forest Service
Iowa State
Penn State

Of course some of the trees and shrubs will need to be shade tolerant. Some of the more shade tolerant varieties are persimmon, serviceberry, paw paw, aronia, witchhazel, Viburnum, redbud, chokeberry, hops, cornelian cherry, currant, blackberry, raspberry, etc.

Penn State
Univ of Minnesota


Hay drying **********************************************************

Wind Breaks, Hedgerows, Alley Cropping:

Deciduous hedgerows are a great way to create a low cost fence to control livestock. They also create a more stabile micro-climate and help protect against erosion. They provide wind and sun protection for livestock, habitat for wildlife (warblers), and increase biodiversity of species. It is especially useful for keeping out feral competitive or prey animals. In a cool climate, Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) are particularly effective barriers to livestock. Hazelnut (Corylus americana) is also a very disease resistant bush. Wild American Plum (Prunus americana) is a very disease/drought resistant shrub. Siberian Pea (Caragana arborescens) is also used, but it can become invasive if not harvested regularly. Ginkgo biloba is also useful since it is disease / insect free and improves soil enzyme levels. All of these have suckers that will form an impenetrable base. Some cattle or goats will eat a hedgerow such as Highland or Galloway cattle.

Wiki Hedge
Hedging UK
Permaculture - pollinators
Colorado State

Bushes that bear small fruits can be ideal to attract birds which will also eat insects. ( Bayberry, Winterberry, Gray Dogwood, Nannyberry, Highbush Cranberry, Red-twig Dogwood, Chokeberries, Staghorn Sumac, Crabapples, Arrowwood, Pagoda Dogwood, Virginia Creeper, etc. )

Evergreen windbreaks are most useful around cattle pastures to provide wind protection during winter. A hedgerow used for both livestock control and wind break should have both types of species. White Cedar and Blue Spruce are especially good winter wind breaks in very cold winter climates. Evergreens should not be browsed by cattle as they will impart a bad flavor. Also, cedar and juniper contribute to apple rust. Cyprus or bamboo are better for hot regions.

Temperate Evergreen Windbreaks
Kansas State
Morton Arboretum
Plants Beautiful Nursery - evergreen
Purdue - Juniper and Cedar diseases
University of Florida

Alley cropping can be used between annual crops, but it does benefit from special treatment. Root pruning can be used to reduce competition for nutrients. Root pruning even has benefits in orchards.

Good Fruit - alley cropping is making a comeback
NRCS - general root pruning guidelines
Iowa State - root pruning


Deer proof plants may also be valuable.

Texas A&M
WINDBREAK DISEASES: Unfortunately, many of the plants traditionally used for hedgerows have not been selected enough to isolate genetics for disease resistance. Many of them can be hosts to fruit diseases. If you are also trying to grow fruit, you may want to avoid them. At the very least, look for resistant strains and remove diseased plants as soon as they show signs of susceptibility.
Penn State - Hawthorn diseases
University of Connecticut - Hawthorn varieties
Do not plant Hawthorn close to Juniper or Cedar. Hawthorn and Blackthorn do not thrive in warm climates. SNOWDRIFT:
Forestry Snowdrift
USDA - Snowdrift

Annual Grazing:

Ancient organic systems always made use of animals in fallow fields as part of the rotation cycle. Annual grasses and legumes can be grown in fallow fields to break disease cycles and then grazed by ruminants. ( Such as Annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) ) Field edges and riparian areas can also be regularly foraged. After harvest animals can be moved in to feed on residue to speed decomposition without plowing.


Links To Moving Animals:

Bud Williams Bud Williams - low stress handling Temple Grandin Temple Grandin - low stress methods

Links For Abattoirs:

ATTRA - processing Cornell - abattoir waste disposal Vermont slaughter feasability USDA abattoir law Joel Salatin - poultry processing on farm Joel Salatin - eviscerating a chicken


Beginners: Storey's Guide to Raising Beef Cattle Heather Smith Thomas Beef Cattle Production Verl L. Thomas North American Range Plants Stubbendieck, Hatch, Butterfield ********** Intermediate: Beef Cattle Science Part A / B Ensminger & Perry Forages, Volume 1: An Introduction to Grassland Agriculture (Volume I) Forages, Volume 2: The Science of Grassland Agriculture (Volume II) Robert F. Barnes ************** Advanced: Grass Productivity Andre Voisin Greener Pasture on Your Side of the Fence: Better Farming Voisin Management-Intensive Grazing (4th Edition) (Volume 4) Bill Murphy Back to Garden for Nutrition Index