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Grazing cropland benefits soil and cow

Letting cattle graze in pastures with cover crops can be beneficial for the soil and the animal’s health. This is according to a new US project.

The integrated crop and livestock management system seeks to use crops, such as oats, sorghum, turnips, radishes or millet, planted after harvest for grazing, assistant professor Sandeep Kumar from the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science (South Dakota State University) explained.

Though grazing cropland was once common, Kumar admitted, “most farmers are not into this practice.” The fall crop will not only provide nourishment to cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants, but will bind nitrogen to the soil, reducing runoff into lakes and streams.

The study will look at the impact of incorporating grazing crops at 7 sites covering 3 states: North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The researchers hope that this study will help increase crop production and improved sustainability.

[Source: South Dakota State University]

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