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Grazing in the Dairy State: Pasture Use in the Wisconsin Dairy Industry, 1992-2003
Special Reports No. 2, January 2006
by Jennifer Taylor and Jeremy Foltz

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Management intensive rotational grazing, MIRG, grassbased or pasture-based farming … by whatever name you call it, managed grazing has spread throughout the state and is now an established practice on many Wisconsin dairy farms. There are grazing networks, equipment suppliers, researchers and consultants across Wisconsin who provide information and infrastructure for grazing operations of all sizes and types. However, questions and misconceptions about grazing remain. Does managed grazing pay as well as conventional dairying? Aren’t graziers a very different population from other dairy farmers? What about milk production from pasture—it’s only a drop in the bulk tank of Wisconsin’s total milk supply, right? These questions and more were addressed by examining ten years of survey data from the Program on Agricultural Technology Studies (PATS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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