Maximizing Dry Matter Intake on Your Organic Dairy Pastures Webinar by eOrganic

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About the Webinar

On February 12, 2010, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) published a final rule that establishes pasture standards for organic livestock. The Access to Pasture rule specifies that organic milk and meat products come from organically-raised animals that are actively grazing on pasture. The rule requires that these animals' diets consist of at least 30% dry matter intake from pasture grazed during grazing season, and that the grazing season is at least 120 days.

In this webinar, recorded on September 16,  2010, USDA NRCS animal scientist Karen Hoffman describes how organic dairy farmers can maximize dry matter intake from the pasture. She describes the connection among milk production, a cow's rumen and pasture quality, including plant density, number of tillers/plant, pasture height, and species composition. She takes a look at protein and energy relationships in the pasture and ways to balance them to enhance dry matter intake and encourage high animal performance.

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Presenter Karen Hoffman

Karen Hoffman is an animal scientist with USDA-NRCS in New York and is also the NY state coordinator for the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. Karen received her Bachelor of Science degree from the Animal Science Department at Cornell University and her Master of Science degree from the Department of Dairy and Animal Science at PennState where she studied grain feeding strategies to high producing dairy cows on a rotational grazing system. Karen has worked with dairy and other livestock producers on their grazing systems for more than 15 years including Cornell Cooperative Extension as a dairy management educator and now as animal scientist specializing in grazing nutrition for the USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service.

About eOrganic

eOrganic is the Organic Agriculture Community of Practice at Our website  at contains articles, videos, and webinars for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information on organic agriculture, published research results, farmer experiences, and certification. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by our community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture.

Published July 20, 2010

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.