To help Iowa beef producers remain profitable, the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University conducted several grazing and pasture management programs from 2013 to 2018. Extension program specialist Beth Reynolds says objectives for these programs ranged from improving grazing and management techniques for increasing forage productivity while increasing cattle performance to protecting and enhancing water quality and benefiting soil health.
“To gain information on Iowa’s pasture productivity and grazing rental arrangements, evaluation surveys were distributed to more than 1,000 participants who attended at least one of the IBC’s grazing and pasture management programs during that time frame,” she says. “Our new publication, “Iowa’s Pastureland and Grazing 2013-2018,” is based on those survey results and gives a snapshot of how Iowa’s cow-calf industry has changed in terms of pasture utilization.”
Improving pasture management
The six-page publication summarizes the findings of that evaluation to determine the changes in Iowa’s pasture management and to look at the effectiveness of IBC’s various pasture programs.
“The report is packed with information on the state’s pasture availability, pasture rent, cow numbers, stocking density and more,” Reynolds says. “IBC undergraduate intern Samantha Jamison updated the earlier 2007-12 version of this report to keep the information relevant and up to date.”
The publication is free from the ISU Extension Store. With 3.95 million cattle and calves, the cattle industry makes up 15% of Iowa's agricultural economy. The new publication examines all aspects of pasture use and grazing among cattle in Iowa.
Reynolds says IBC appreciates the input from past workshop and seminar attendees, and hopes all producers will find the information relevant to their operations. All ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialists are available to answer questions and provide information about the report, future grazing workshops or anything related to grazing and pasture management.