CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Extension Service has a new resource for livestock producers seeking to improve their pasture management and create a more productive and sustainable forage-livestock system.
Growing Farms: An Introduction to Pasture and Grazing Management is a free online course developed by Extension faculty with OSU’s Professional and Continuing Education unit. The course is offered on-demand, meaning that it can be taken at any time, and at a self-chosen pace.
“Having this free course available comes at a time when Extension faculty are more frequently contacted by livestock producers about pasture and grazing,” said Melissa Fery, one of the course co-developers and an associate professor of practice and small farms specialist for the south Willamette Valley.
The course is based on the premise that livestock producers are also a grass and legume farmer, using the forages that they grow as a feed source for their animals. From that perspective, the course guides them through a number of topics and key strategies.
- The benefits of good pasture and grazing management.
- How to assess the condition of your pasture.
- How grasses grow and how management affects grass growth.
- The basics of rotational grazing – how to manage grazing to complement the pasture growth cycle.
- Irrigation, nutrient and weed management strategies.
- How to renovate your pasture.
- Managing your pasture through the growing season.
The estimated time to complete the course is two to four hours, with additional hours if the learner chooses to explore all the supplemental resources provided.