Managed grazing keeps dairy and other livestock farmers profitable, promotes good land stewardship, and can save taxpayers money. A new report by the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, The Future of Managed Grazing: Barriers to managed grazing in Wisconsin and how to overcome them, includes recommendations for state government, the University of Wisconsin, and others to better support managed grazing in Wisconsin.
The report shows that, for a few conventional dairy farmers, high debt and increasing land prices may limit their ability to make the transition to managed grazing. Beginning graziers may have a harder time than other beginning farmers in finding land and capital. But how conventional dairy farmers perceive managed grazing may act as the biggest barrier to making the transition. Financial studies find that managed grazing farms can be more profitable per cow and per hundredweight equivalent than their confinement counterparts (see the CIAS report Pastures of Plenty), but few conventional dairy farmers may be aware of managed grazing’s financial benefits.