Project Title:  Appalachia Pasture-Based Beef Production Systems Regional

Investigator(s):  Ben Tracy, Ozzie Abaye, Gordon Groover

Project Summary:

Research Pasture

A major component of the Appalachia Pasture-Based Beef Production Systems Regional Project is pasture management and forage production.  Ongoing projects at the Shenandoah Valley AREC include rotational grazing, creep grazing, stockpile grazing, forage restoration in feeding areas, forage species test plots, and the analysis of various nitrogen fertilizer sources and rates. Projects include:

  • Research-based management recommendations to optimize stockpiled tall fescue to potentially increase livestock productivity in Virginia and throughout the region (Abaye, Yarber).
  • Research-based publications showing the effect of nitrogen rates and sources as a  primary factor affecting yield of cool-season pastures allowed to accumulate herbage for deferred grazing (Abaye).
  • Develop practical information showing the effectiveness of the alternative nitrogen  sources during years with normal or below normal rainfall (Abaye).
  • Evaluation of alternative forage species and nitrogen sources to reduce risk.  (Abaye).
  • Develop strategies that reduce stress in newly weaned calves. These strategies include introduction of various pasture species, monitoring daily dry matter intake and performance of newly weaned calves during the backgrounding period (Abaye, Tracy).
  • Analysis of farms practicing management intensive grazing to determine if they financially outperformed the traditional farms relying on continuous grazing and winter hay feeding (Groover, Young).
  • Compare effects of grazing management and cattle frame size on forage productivity and quality in cow-calf systems (Tracy).
  • Establish different forage species in winter hay feeding areas to introduce desirable forage species diversity into pastures and speed up recovery of disturbed sites (Tracy).