Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland


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Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland

  1. 1. A project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology 1-800-346-9140 • www.attra.ncat.orgConverting Croplandto Perennial GrasslandBy Preston Sullivan Establishing perennial pasture can be a profitable enterprise on marginal cropland. This publicationNCAT Agriculture examines some agronomic considerations of converting cropland to grassland, methods of establish-Specialist ing pasture on croplands and how to manage established pastures. Two farm profiles illustrate thesePublished 2003 processes.Updated 2010by Lee Rinehart, NCAT Introduction FAgriculture Specialist or several generations the Moore family in Navasota,Contents Texas, raised corn, milo andEconomic cotton (Leake, 2001). After finallyconsiderations ..................2 having enough of rising produc-Precautions ........................2 tion costs, persistent drought andPlant selection ..................4 low commodity prices, they decidedConventional to break the family tradition andestablishment ...................5 switch from row crops to cattle.Frost seeding ....................6 After taking training in HolisticLow-input establishment Management (Holistic Manage-methods .............................6 ment International) Robert MooreManagement after and his son Taylor took a path to Cattle grazing on pasture in Benton, Arkansas. Photo courtesy NRCS.establishment ...................6 a brighter future with less personalSuccessful transitions ....7 stress and lower overhead cost than operation. Producers without livestock experienceSummary ............................8 when they raised row crops. For years they had may benefit from working with a neighbor whoFurther resources ...........9 battled Johnsongrass, bermudagrass and crabgrass runs livestock to get a feel for it. An easy wayReferences .........................9 in their cotton fields. Now these grasses and oth- to get started is to graze some of your standing ers such as Dallisgrass, burr clover and bluestem corn in the vegetative stage. ATTRA can provide are their allies. Moore explains they work with a number of publications on grass farming and nature by letting the natural grasses return. With cattle, sheep and goat farming to get you started. a wide variety of grasses available, they can graze For detailed information see the ATTRA publi- from mid-February to mid-November. After giv- cations at ing up row cropping, they increased their cow Besides the potential for lowering risk, stress herd from 200 to 600 animals. Their 2000 acres and overhead costs, switching from cropland are divided into 50-acre paddocks with about 200 to perennial grassland will reduce or eliminate head in a paddock at a time. With their row crop- soil erosion while improving soil organic mat-The National Sustainable ping enterprise they had 20 employees workingAgriculture Information Service, ter. Soil health generally improves under grass-ATTRA (, full time. Before cattle they worried about cropwas developed and is managed land because long-term grass production pro-by the National Center for success and prices and were often relieved just duces well-aggregated soil. Aggregated soil isAppropriate Technology (NCAT). to break even. Now they can live off what theyThe project is funded through one with a crumbly structure capable of higha cooperative agreement with make. Taylor remarks, “We’re definitely happierthe United States Department water infiltration, porous air exchange and the now and have less stress.”of Agriculture’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the ability to accommodate fast and deep plantNCAT website ( The personal decision to switch from cropping root growth. Grass plants extend a mass of finesarc_current.php) formore information on to pasture may have been easier for the Moores roots throughout the topsoil, contributing toour other sustainable since they already had livestock in their farming the physical processes that help form aggregates.agriculture andenergy projects.
  2. 2. Roots produce food for soil microorganisms and earthworms, which, in turn, generate glue-like compounds that bind soil particles into water- stable aggregates. In addition, perennial grass cover provides protection from raindrops and erosion. Thus, perennial grasses create a combi- nation of conditions optimal for the formation and maintenance of well-aggregated soil. Well-established grass will eventually restore soil health above the level present in annual crop- land. We can see this by looking at microbial and earthworm populations under pasture versus A mixture of native grasses and forbs in Linn County, crops (i.e., Frasers et al., 1996). Organic mat- Iowa. Photo courtesy NRCS. ter and biological activity generally decline when fertility and structure and more complex soil food pastures are tilled up and planted with crops. By web than annual cropping systems (Culman et way of comparison, pastureland that is converted al., 2009). to crops by plowing and no-till may suffer a 45% decline in soil microbial biomass in the topRelated ATTRApublications 2 inches of soil. In general, the top 4 inches of Economic considerations soil contain higher microbial biomass and more Before making the final decision to convertAssessing the Pasture earthworms under no-till or permanent pasture cropland to pasture, a detailed financial anal-Soil Resource as compared to plowed ground (See Table 1). ysis should be done and all the costs of bothNutrient Cycling the crop enterprise and the livestock enterprise In a Kansas study, five sites were selected, eachin Pastures should be accounted for. Several price scenarios, with native perennial grassland bordered by a for both grain yields and pounds of gain, needPasture, Rangeland field annually cropped with wheat. The peren- to be compared to determine the income poten-and Grazing nial grass fields were managed as hayfields with- tial of different production systems. In the firstManagement out fertilization for the past 75 years, whereas year of pasture, only light grazing will be feasi- the wheat fields were historically croppedPastures: Sustainable ble (resulting in less income) until the grass getsManagement with wheat and rotations of sorghum and soy- well established. Grazing system development beans. The annually cropped fields were main-Switchgrass as a costs (permanent perimeter fence, water devel- tained with annual inputs of fertilizer. The soilsBioenergy Crop opment, etc.) can be amortized for several years. were sampled three times during the growing An example budget for dryland corn vs. estab- season on both sites in each treatment. Research- lishing a big bluestem pasture is included on the ers noted that soil carbon, nitrogen and water- next page. Detailed grazing budgets are available stable aggregates were all significantly greater in in the ATTRA publication Grazing Contracts perennial grasslands than in annual croplands for Livestock. to a depth of 23 inches. Microbial activity was also significantly different, including the pres- ence of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These data sug- Precautions gest that perennial grasslands, even after years of After soil moisture, weed control is the most annual harvest, can support higher levels of soil important factor to consider prior to the estab- lishment of grass pas- Table 1. Effects of tillage practices on microbial biomass tures, especially native and earthworm numbers warm season peren- Microbial biomass, nial pastures. Perennial Tillage method Earthworms/meter2 pounds/acre forbs and warm-season Pasture 911a* 429a grasses such as crabgrass germinate in cooler soils No-till 905a 363b and can have a severe Plow-till 749b 110c impact on pasture stand *Numbers followed by the same letter in columns are not significantly different establishment.Page 2 ATTRA Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland
  3. 3. Table 2. Budget Comparison: Dryland Corn vs. Big Bluestem Pasture for Grazing in Nebraska Inputs Cost/ac corn Cost/ac pasture Seed cost 31.76 46 Custom planting 10 10 Herbicide 30.60 5.83 Custom spray 5 3.33 Fertilizer 23.54 22 Custom spread 4.50 4.50 Harvest and haul 22 Fence 92.06 Water 106.65 Burn 3 Total annual inputs (pasture: fertilizer, herbicide, and burn) 36.66 Total establishment costs (pasture) 263.87 Amortization 24.60 (pasture estbl., fence, water) * Total inputs (for pasture: annual inputs + amortization) 127.40 60.26 * Establishment cost amortized for 15 years at 5% interest on 80 acres. Return Corn ** Pasture Yield (bu/ac) 85.90 Market price ($/bu) 2.03 Beginning cattle wt (lb/ac) 2458 Cattle cost ($/cwt) 84.78 Beginning cattle value ($/ac) 2083.89 End cattle wt (lb/ac) 2863 Market price ($/cwt) 79.09 End cattle value ($/ac) 2264.35 Gross return ($/ac) 176 180.46 Inputs ($/ac) 127.40 60.26 Net return ($/ac) 48.60 120.20 ** Does not include price supports or cost shares. Table adapted from Tables 2 and 3 in Vogel, et al. 2005. Big Bluestem Pasture in the Great Plains: An Alternative for Dryland Corn. Rangelands. Volume 27, Issue 2.Grass establishment can be improved by utiliz- to the tops of the grass plants so as to reduceing cultural and mechanical control measures to the impact of defoliation on the grass. Mowingreduce weed pressure. For instance, annual crop- can be effective against annual weeds especiallyping with small grains and field peas for one or as they mature, but prior to seed set. Mowingtwo years will provide an opportunity to con- can also reduce perennial weeds by effectivelytrol weeds several times during the season while depleting root reserves by successive mowingsbuilding soil organic matter. Also, nurse crops when the plant is at the boot stage.can sometimes reduce weed pressure and providea cash crop in the form of hay, silage, or grain. Typical U.S. cropland is low in organic matterWeeds can also be controlled in newly planted and may contain herbicide residues, as well as angrass stands by mowing two or three times dur- abundance of annual weed seeds (Nation, 1995).ing the growing season. Mow the weeds down Consequently, this land cannot be expected ATTRA Page 3
  4. 4. perform similar to land that has been in pas- ture several years. Some herbicides persist for more than one year. For example, atrazine car- ryover would be fine for establishing bermudag- rass, gammagrass, or switchgrass, but it could be a problem for many legumes. Soils low in organic matter can crust over and prevent small grass and legume seed from emerging, especially in semi-arid climates. Since grazing pressure should be light until the perennial forage is well established, income may be reduced for the first year or two. Therefore, it is preferable to gradu- ally convert a crop farm into pasture rather than NRCS conservationist and Yolo County farmer inspect all at once (Nation, 1995). a native grass planting near a restored wetland. Photo courtesy NRCS. When faced with the decision to plant either one (monoculture) or several (polyculture) by reducing bare soil that results from conven- forage species, Canadian grazing researcher E.T tional tillage. he most Ann Clark (2001), suggests that, in monocul- ture plantings, many unsown species typically A good seedbed is essential if planting is to be common encroach on the planting to occupy niches left done after conventional tillage. The soil needs causes of to be worked to break up clods, followed by vacant by the sown species. No single forage spe-grass seeding fail- cies is capable of thriving in all the variations in firming the seedbed with a roller or cultipacker.ures are planting soil type, drainage, aspect and slope that occur in Clods should be no larger than an inch and only any landscape. Clark advises planting a diverse a few that size and a footprint should sink nothe seed too deep, mixture of forage species to occupy all available deeper than one-eighth inch (Bluhm, 1992).crusted soil surface, Ideal seeding equipment will have the seed cov- ecological niches with productive, economicalcompetition from forage plants (see Plant selection below). ered no more than half an inch deep. Generally,weeds and excess a 1/4-inch depth is appropriate for smaller seeds, The most common causes of grass seeding fail- such as clover and annual ryegrass. The seeddryness following ures are: may be broadcast or drilled or planted in a grassplanting. seeder such as the Brillion™ seeder. If broadcast, 1. planting the seed too deep, 2. crusted soil surface, the field should be dragged with a light chain or harrow to facilitate seed covering. Use higher 3. competition from weeds, and seeding rates for broadcast plantings. 4. excess dryness following planting. Poor germination is often blamed, but recom- Plant selection mended seeding rates are adequate to provide a Plants are differentiated by the season in which good stand even with lower-than-normal ger- they grow, their life cycle, their morphology or mination rates. If there is a question about seed structure, whether they are native or introduced germination, have the seed tested before plant- and their water requirements. Plant species are ing. It is worth the time to reduce competing also differentiated by their response to soil type, vegetation and do a good job of seedbed prep- depth and drainage. Plants should be selected aration and planting. Planting is an expensive with consideration of these factors, keeping in operation, there are few shortcuts and you don’t mind the goals for the pasture (for example, hay, want to have to replant the field. grazing, silage/haylage, summer or winter graz- ing, etc.) as well as the seasonal variation in forage Most forages can be established using a no-till growth and productivity (Vough et. al., 1995). drill equipped with a grass-seed box. Residual vegetation should be controlled prior to planting Pastures can be planted to single species or mix- to reduce competition with the new seedlings. tures of various grasses and legumes. Single spe- Generally speaking, no-till is the preferred estab- cies plantings can be easier to manage, especially lishment method, requiring only a single trip for hayfields, since you are concerned with the across the field and providing erosion-resistance maturity of only a single plant species. MixedPage 4 ATTRA Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland
  5. 5. plantings offer more of a challenge for hayfields are the best available and should be consulted forbecause plants in the mixture will often mature accurate information on adapted forage speciesat different times, making decisions about har- and how to plant them. Seed calculators are alsovest time more problematic. This, however, can available that provide an easy way to determinebe overcome in part by selecting species that costs of various seed mixtures. One of these canmature at approximately the same time. For be found on the Web at www.economics.nrcs.example, when planting an alfalfa-orchardgrass In addi-mix, it is advised to plant a late-maturing vari- tion, the University of Wisconsin Extension hasety of orchardgrass to match the maturity of the a seeding rate calculator which can be accessedalfalfa. The hay from this mixture should be at in accordance with the maturity of calculator.xls.the alfalfa, or when the grass is at the late bootstage or flowering stage. General guidelines for establishing forages are shown below in abbreviated form from SouthernLegume-grass mixtures are ideal for hay or for Forages (Ball et al., 2007). More detailed plant-rotational grazing. According to Vough et al., ing guidelines for each forage species are typi-(1995), these mixtures have several advantages cally available from local Extension offices andover single-species stands because: should be sought out for additional guidance. 1. legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduc- 1. Soil fertility and pH levels should be deter- ing the need for nitrogen fertilizer, mined through soil testing. Fertility and 2. legumes increase the protein concentration pH levels should be adjusted to those of the forage, desired by the crop to be planted. Legumes typically require medium to high levels of 3. legumes extend grazing into the summer calcium, phosphorus and potassium. If pos- when cool season grasses begin to decline, sible, apply lime a year ahead of planting to 4. mixtures are better at competing with allow adequate time to begin working. weeds for soil resources, 2. Reduce existing weed growth. Grassy 5. mixtures are usually higher yielding than weeds present a prohibitive hazard to single species stands, establishing new forages. Reducing existing 6. mixtures with legumes are easier to cure as weed growth is particularly necessary in hay or ferment as silage, no-till planting. Existing vegetation can be mown, tilled in, or in grazed off to ground 7. mixtures tolerate a wider range of soil con- level prior to seeding the new forages. ditions and 3. Consider using a nurse crop such as oats 8. mixtures reduce the bloating effect of to control weeds during pasture establish- legumes on ruminants. ment. Oats should be cut for hay or silageSome other forage characteristics that should be when the pasture seedlings are establishedconsidered in selecting the right species are warmseason plants vs cool season plants, annualplants vs perennial plants, native vs intro-duced and dryland vs temperate or irrigatedpastures. These topics are covered in greaterdetail in publications such as Southern For-ages and Dryland Pastures in Wyoming andMontana (see Further Resources).Conventionalestablishment Southern Iowa farmer uses a grass drillPlanting information is widely available to interseed native grasses into a cool-(seeding dates, rates, depth to plant, etc.) season field of grasses.from local Extension offices and University Photo courtesy ofExperiment Stations. These local sources ATTRA Page 5
  6. 6. to reduce plant competition from the to thicken. In this case, grazing management nurse crop. is the best low-input method for establishing a 4. Use high quality seed. Using outdated seed pasture. Information on grazing can be found or seed with poor germination can result in the ATTRA publication Rotational Grazing. in stand failure. It’s generally wise to stick Some success has been realized by feeding for- with higher quality seed from well-adapted age seed to cattle through the herd’s mineral forage types for best success. or grain supplement and establishing the pas- 5. Inoculate legumes with appropriate bacte- ture through manure deposition. This gener- ria to assure adequate nitrogen fixation. ally results in an uneven distribution of grass plants that will take several years to get estab- 6. Plant at an appropriate time of year for the lished and thus is not useful for establishing new forages you are growing. grass stands. This method is more appropriate 7. Use the correct seeding rate. when introducing a new forage species into an 8. Plant to the appropriate soil depth. Appro- existing pasture. A portion of ingested grass and priate planting depth and good seed-to- legume seed passes through the cow intact and soil contact are necessary to assure a good will germinate. Hard seeds tend to pass through stand. Seed lying on top of the ground or and germinate better, because softer seeds take in loose fluffy soil is less likely to germinate up water in the rumen and are more subject than seed planted at the right depth and to being digested. About 25 to 35% of legume packed down. To avoid this problem, use a seeds will pass through and will have 60 to 80% drill to plant the forage seed or a precision germination (Undersander, 1996). Some of these seeder such as the Brillion seeder, or pack seeds, when deposited under cool and wet con- the ground after seeding with a cultipacker ditions, will germinate and establish (Under- or similar device. sander, 1996). Less success is realized when the manure dries out in warm weather. Frost seeding Innovative farmer and author Joel Salatin of Seed can be broadcast over frozen ground in Swoope, Virginia, (1993), has had success feed- early spring (frost seeding). The daily freezing ing his cattle mature hay that has some seed and thawing cycle will help to work the seed heads in it on areas where he wanted to establish into the soil. For best success, mow or graze the new forage grasses. Caution is advised here to pasture in the fall to less than two inches for avoid soil compaction. Cattle should be removed better seed-to-soil contact. Seed at a time when when the ground gets too soggy, especially on daily temperatures are ranging above and below clay-based soils. the freezing point. Higher success rates can be realized from frost seeding than from feed- ing seed to cattle, resulting in a more uniform Management after stand. Wisconsin trials at two locations showed establishment the greatest success with perennial ryegrass, fol- New grass plantings are susceptible to drought lowed by red clover and orchardgrass. Brome- and insect damage and are easily damaged by grass and timothy showed intermediate success cattle during wet weather. Avoid grazing until and reed canarygrass had the poorest establish- the grass can be grazed without uprooting the ment (Paine et al., 1996). plants. Even then keep the grazing light—rotate the animals through fast with a high stocking Low-input establishment rate for a very short time on each paddock. Gra- ziers who run livestock on cropland to clean up methods residues or graze cover crops have noted that soil In some cases cropland inundated with persis- compaction can occur. This is likely due to the tent perennial grasses such as bermudagrass, fact that annual cropland is often tilled each quackgrass and Johnsongrass can be grazed with- year in order to control weeds, turn in cover out any establishment of other forages. In this crops, or prepare a seedbed for planting. Till- case, one need only plant fence posts and begin age is known to destroy soil structure and burn grazing. Light grazing followed by adequate up organic matter and when livestock impact is recovery time will encourage the new grass stand added soil compaction becomes a serious sidePage 6 ATTRA Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland
  7. 7. effect. Row crop farmers can ameliorate soil they realized they had no control over whole-compaction problems by discing to a depth of sale grain prices (SARE, 2001). After switching,no more than six inches prior to planting the the Clifton Hill, Missouri, father-and-son teamnext crop, but this will not be possible on a per- captured niche markets they formerly never hadmanent pasture (Samples and McCutcheon, access to when selling only commodity grains.2002). On previously-tilled cropland, lighter The family started farming corn, beans andanimals such as sheep may be the best first wheat on 1900 acres in the 1960s. Dan’s fathergrazers of newly planted grass because of their came to realize that they could just get by eco-lighter weight and because they offer good weed nomically doing what others are doing, or theycontrol. If no sheep are available, use calves less could make a lot more money doing what oth-than 400 pounds. On some soils it may take ers won’t do. The eastern gamagrass seed opera-several years for formerly tilled cropland planted tion consumes about 80% of Dan’s time, withto pasture to firm up enough to support heavy the other two new enterprises—pecans and buf-Holstein cows in wet weather. falo—taking up the remainder. Dan is a firm believer that to succeed in alternative agricul-Building soil organic matter and utilizing proper ture you’ve got to communicate to sell yourgrazing management in the first few years after products. Even though most farmers are good atforages are established on cropland is critical to production, few want to be in sales. The familythe success of new pasture (Fredricks, 2001). In markets their buffalo products directly to cus-his classic book Better Grassland Sward Andre tomers—including breeding stock, meat, hidesVoisin (1960) discusses the “years of depression and horns—through their store located on theirin reseeded pastures.” Voisin notes a decline in property. Through the store they also marketproductivity about three years following plow their pecans, sweet corn, pumpkins, peaches,up and reestablishment of pastures, due to soil jellies and other nuts they buy out of state. Dan’sorganic matter being used up by the new plants. wife, Jan, runs the store and manages the books.The “depression” was worse the more the soil Dan oversees the farm operation and does allwas tilled. Manure applications helped offset the buying.the depression. Once their pecan orchard was established, theySuccessful transitions continued to grow commodity crops in the alleys between the young trees. As the trees matured and began producing nuts, the row crops wereThe Shepherds crowded out. After that, the orchard floor wasDan Shepherd and his father Jerrell changed seeded to bluegrass. Though the bluegrass doestheir farming focus from commodity grains to not produce a high tonnage of forage, their buf-pecans, buffalo and eastern gamagrass seed when falo herd readily consumes what it does produce. Their herd started in 1969 and is rotated through the eastern gamagrass pas- tures using management- intensive grazing. During the summer, the herd is moved about every four days. Their eastern gamagrass seed operations net about $700 per acre on 400 acres. In 2000 they net- ted around $300 per acre from the pecan operation. Through their store they NRCS soil conservationists evaluating a warm season grass stand with a landowner. Photo courtesy ATTRA Page 7
  8. 8. sold 70,000 ears of sweet corn at 10 cents each, and forbs could become fully established. Stock- but even at that low price they net about $1000 ing rates were very high and the animals were on 15 acres. While not being a big moneymaker, moved as often as every twenty minutes on a the sweet corn draws lots of customers to the four-hour cycle in the morning, followed by store who purchase additional products. four-hour moves for the rest of the day, to maxi- mize efficiency. This moving sequence allowed Dan offers others some tips for making the tran- them to gain an extra day of grazing in each sition: don’t look to alternative agriculture as of the areas. At these high stocking rates the a bailout. Rather, think of getting in or mak- manure cycles so quickly that almost no flies ing the change to the system in good times, not are seen—even though no fly control is used. bad (SARE, 2001). The products of alternative Within an hour, trampling, dung beetles and agriculture require different markets. The aver- other insects have almost completely removed age learning curve for anything new is up to all the manure. Weight gains are estimated at eight years. 1.3 pounds per day. La Brisa Ranch The owners and managers expect the real pay- back will come when the land is put back into The silt-laden flood plains of the lower Rio vegetables. They have already seen a reduction in Grande Valley in south Texas are home to soil salts and expect their fertilizer, weed, insect Scott Phillips, who manages the La Brisa ranch and disease control to be reduced from the owned by the Sheerin family. Much of their improved soil health. Longer-term plans are to crop ground had been farmed for 15 years and rotate all their cropland into pasture on a three proved too marginal to produce enough income to four-year basis. to service the property debt. Phillips decided to use animals to restore productivity to the failing cropland. Livestock were turned in on a failed Summary corn crop, which provided many days of graz- Establishing a new pasture is a time-consum- ing. When the corn was consumed and the ani- ing and expensive process. Pay careful atten- mals removed, the land grew a crop of volunteer tion to proper plant material selection, soil tilth annual grasses, weeds and corn. As time went and seedbed preparation, soil fertility and the addition of compost or manures, green manure on, plant succession progressed to include some plow-down and amendments with rock pow- perennial plants with the annuals. The ranch ders. Plant materials should be adapted to the produced a profit on livestock even as prices native soil pH and water holding characteristics, were declining (Gadzia, 1995). The following annual precipitation, temperature, seasonality year additional cropland was taken out of veg- and grazing system. The biological diversity of etable production and put into pasture. newly established pastures is enhanced through Their system was also tried on some of the grazing management, especially through planned best land, which was planted to oats, ryegrass, grazing systems that provide adequate rest and legumes and haygrazer until perennial grasses regrowth.Page 8 ATTRA Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland
  9. 9. Further resources Referencesfor information on Ball, D.M., C.S. Hoveland and G.D. Lacefield. 2007. Southern Forages. 4th edition. American Potash andpasture establishment Phosphate Institute and the Foundation for AgronomicAnderson, Bruce. 2007. Establishing Dryland Forage Research. Norcross, Georgia. 332 p.Grasses. University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. Bluhm, Wilbur L. 1992. Basic principles for establishing native grasses. A Pacific Northwest Native Plant DirectoryBall, D.M., C.S. Hoveland and G.D. Lacefield. 2007. South- and Journal. Issue 3. p. 1-4. Hortus Northwest.ern Forages. 4th edition. American Potash and PhosphateInstitute and the Foundation for Agronomic Research. Nor- Clark, E.A. 2001. A Passion for Pasture. ACRES USA.cross, Georgia. November p. 28-31. Culman, S.W., et al. 2009. Long-term Impacts of High-Ohlenbusch, Paul D. 1997. Establishing Native Grasses. Input Annual Cropping and Unfertilized Perennial GrassKansas State University. Production on Soil Properties and Belowground Food In Kansas, USA. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., doi:10.1016/j. agee.2009.11.008.The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. Pasture & Range Fraser, P. M., P. H. Williams and R. J. Haynes. 1996.A Landowner’s Guide to Native Warm-Season Grasses in Earthworm Species, Population Size and Biomass Underthe Mid-South. University of Tennessee Extension. Different Cropping Systems Across the Canterbury Plains, New Zealand. Applied Soil Ecology, Volume 3. Issue 1. p.Reseeding Marginal Cropland to Perennial Grasses, Forbs 49-57.and Legumes. Oklahoma State University Extension. Fredricks, Carl. 2001. Getting Through The ‘Years Of Depression.’ Graze. March. p. 12.Document-2549/NREM-2581web.pdf Gadzia, Kirk. 1995. Healing Cropland with Livestock.Dryland Pastures in Wyoming and Montana. Montana Stockman Grass Farmer. November. p. 23-25.State University Gompert, Terry. 2001. Conversion to Pasture Should Startpastures.pdf With Your Best Land. Stockman Grass Farmer. June. p. 1, 5.Economics of Grazing Systems Versus Row Crop Enter- Holistic Management Internationalprises. University of Missouri - Forage Systems Research 1010 Tijeras Ave. NWCenter. Albuquerque, NM 87102 505-842-5252 www.holisticmanagement.orgPasture Establishment Budget with Round Bales for Wis-consin for 2009 Leake, Linda. 2001. Flower Children. Hay and Forage Grower. January. p. 19-20.Budget%20with%20Round%20Bales%20for%20Wisconsin.xls Budgets: Pasture Establishment. Oregon State Nation, Allan. 1995. Quality Pasture. Green Park Press, ofUniversity Extension Service Mississippi Valley Publishing Corporation, Jackson, Missis- sippi. 285 p. ATTRA Page 9
  10. 10. Paine, L., D. Undersander and D. West. 1996. Establishing Vogel, Kenneth P., Gary E. Varvel, Robert B. Mitchell,new pastures. Pasture Talk. March. p. 10, 16. Terry J. Klopfenstein, Richard T. Clark and Bruce Ander- son. 2005. Big Bluestem Pasture in the Great Plains: AnSalatin, Joel. 1993. Low-cost pasture establishment. The Alternative for Dryland Corn. Rangelands Volume 27,Stockman Grass Farmer. August. p. 29. Issue 2.Samples, Dave and Jeff McCutcheon. 2002. Grazing Corn Ohio State University. &context=usdaarsfacpub Voisin, Andre. 1960. Better Grassland Sward. Crosby, Lock-SARE. 2001. The New American Farmer: Dan and Jan wood and Son, Ltd. London.Shepherd. Farmer profile. Vough, L.R., A.M. Decker and T.H. Taylor. 1995. Establishment and Renovation, in Forages Volume II: TheUndersander, Dan. 1996. Passage of seed through cattle and Science of Grassland Agriculture. Iowa State University Press,survival in manure. Pasture Talk. December. p. 14. Ames, IA.NotesPage 10 ATTRA Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland
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  12. 12. Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland By Preston Sullivan, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Published 2003 Updated 2010 by Lee Rinehart, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Holly Michels, Editor Robyn Metzger, Production This publication is available on the Web at: or IP244 Slot 245 Version 100410Page 12 ATTRA