Experiment Tests Cows and Crops Coexisting

MANDAN - Crop rotation, no till planting, and grazing systems for cattle all started out in a similar way.
calendar icon 26 September 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

Someone had an idea, and tested it, to see if it worked.

Now, researchers have started a five year-long experiment to integrate cows and crops.

The Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan is a place that comes up with ideas about crops and cattle, and sees how they would work for producers.

On one side, you have soil scientists. On the other, animal scientists.

Put the two in the same field, and it`s the breeding ground for an experiment.

"What we`re trying to do is design a cropping system to improve the cow condition score and cow weight," says Dr. Donal Tanaka, a research soil scientist.

Eight cows and calves are in each of three fields. One is a conventional grazing system, one is a modified rangeland, and one is a specially designed cropping system.

"We hope that these systems improve the profitability for the livestock producer," Tanaka says.

Grazing cows on cropland isn`t a new idea to farmers and ranchers, but it`s not something that`s been studied in this way. Now, researchers will know the exact impacts on both the cows, and the land.

Source: KFYRTVnews
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