Grazing cover crops

grazing stocks - bill spiegel

HIGH PLAINS JOURNAL – Adding livestock into an annual cropping system and grazing cover crops that are planted between cash crops is one way to potentially increase profit to a farm enterprise. If done correctly it can also improve soil health.

The manure and urine left after the livestock graze a cover crop helps speed up the nutrient cycling because the forage has already been processed once. This waste also helps feed the soil microbes, which contribute to building stable soil aggregates. Better soil aggregation means more pores spaces in the soil which increases water infiltration and water holding capacity. As the microbes die they add organic matter to the soil which also increases water holding capacity and releases additional nutrients to subsequent crops. Read More

(Photo – Bill Spiegel)

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