Organic Pasture Management

Pasture is an essential and critical component of organic livestock production.  According to the USDA National Organic Program regulation, certified organic animals must graze on pasture during the grazing season, which at a minimum must be 120 days per year.  Additionally, these animals must obtain a minimum of 30 percent dry matter intake from grazing pasture during the grazing season.  In order to ensure that farmers successfully meet these requirements, the NOP regulation further states that producers must have a pasture management plan and manage pasture as a crop to meet the feed requirements for their grazing animals and to protect soil and water quality.

To achieve high quality, productive pastures, good crop management integrated with good her management is essential.  This requires knowledge of animal grazing behavior as well as knowledge of how pasture species grow throughout the production season.

Topic 1: How animals graze

Topic 2: Pasture management using Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG) Principles

Topic 3: Pasture fertility management

Topic 4: Selecting species and varieties of legumes and grasses for your pasture