Economics of Grazing Organic Replacement Dairy Heifers

Join eOrganic for a webinar on April 22, 2020 at 11AM Pacific, 12 Mountain, 1 Central, 2 Eastern Time about the economics of grazing organic replacement dairy heifers! This is the fourth webinar in a series of presentations about organic grazing, based on research projects funded by NIFA OREI and Western SARE at Utah State University and the USDA ARS Forage and Range Lab in Logan, Utah. This webinar will be presented by Ryan Feuz and Ryan Larsen of Utah State University. Advance registration is required. It's free and open to the public.

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Previous research shows that high sugar grasses and birdsfoot trefoil (BFT) monocultures have potential to increase dry matter intact and/or animal performance. However, the economic impact of using high-energy grasses planted in mixture with BFT for a grazing forage among organic dairy cattle has not been studied. There are many altruistic motivations for a dairy farm to engage in organic production practices (environmental, animal welfare, rural sociology, human health, e.g.), but very few dairy farmers can afford NOT to consider economic aspects of organic production as well.  In this webinar, we discuss what the expected net annual financial impact would be for organic replacement dairy heifer operation using high-energy grasses and the tannin-containing legume BFT as its primary source of grazing forage. The financial impact is benchmarked against a conventional operation that feeds a total mixed ration (TMR) in a dry lot.

The first two webinars in this series can be found on the eOrganic YouTube channel:

About the Presenters

Dr. Ryan Feuz is a Post-doctoral Researcher in the Department of Applied Economics at Utah State University. His primary research interests include pasture and range management, livestock and dairy economics, and agricultural finance. He also teaches courses in firm marketing & price analysis and economic strategy.

Dr. Ryan Larsen is an Extension Economist in the Department of Applied Economics at Utah State University. He specializes in farm and risk management. He teaches courses in agricultural finance, risk management, and decision analysis.

Published March 5, 2020

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.