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Horse grazing cover crops.

Cover crops are an important part of conservation agricultural systems in the southeastern United States. If managed properly, grazing of cover crops can add economic value to farm operations while improving soil health. Studies have shown that grazing of cover crops can actually increase soil organic matter if land is not overgrazed. The potential benefits of grazing cover crops may be  visible in livestock gains and the long-term productivity of following crops. Compaction from animal traffic is a major concern for producers considering the use of winter annuals for grazing. Remove livestock from winter grazing to prevent compaction when fields are wet. Contact your local Extension or Conservation District office to develop an integrated crop-livestock plan that will benefit your operation.

Find more information and research findings by visiting the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education website.


This product was developed with support from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (Southern SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the Southern SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.