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Dairy Production on Pasture: An Introduction to Grass-Based and Seasonal Dairying

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By Lee Rinehart
NCAT Agriculture Specialist

Published: 2009

Updated: May 2016



24 pages


In an era of high feed costs and uncertain milk prices, many dairy producers are using pasture to provide most if not all dry matter for lactating dairy cows during the growing season. This publication addresses aspects of pasture production beginning with animal selection and forage resource assessment, grazing, facilities, animal health, organic production, and seasonal economics. Included are extensive resources for further reading.

Table of Contents

Breeds and Animal Types
Taking an Inventory of Resources for Grass-Based Dairying
Forages and Grazing
Dairy Housing
Fencing and Water Systems
Seasonal Dairying
Seasonal Economics
Dry Cow Management
Grazing Nutrition
Supplementing Dairy Cows
Health Management
Organic Dairy Production
The National Organic
Program Pasture Standard
Grass-Fed Standards and
Process Verification
Animal Welfare
Marketing Pasture-Based
Livestock Products
Further Resources

Note: Digital downloads are in full color. Printed, mailed copies are only available in black & white.


This page was last updated on: May 7, 2019