Grazing Conference Talks Management, Alternatives

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

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Nebraska Grazing

Nebraska Partners
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Officials say Nebraska grazing land is disappearing, and not just because of the drought.

Producers and speakers at this year's Nebraska Grazing Conference say they're on the hunt for alternatives as more grazing land gets converted to crop land.

"I think we've got fewer acres of grazing land, and so you either reduce the number of animals or you have to increase management so you can carry more animals on the same land," says UNL Animal Science Professor Dr. Terry Klopfenstein. "There's a limit to that."

Klopfenstein believes that same crop land is one of the state's most viable answers and recommends producers look at things like grazing cattle on cornstalks.

"Then there's a balance between using that for cattle and leaving some there for soil and for subsequent crop yields," he says.

US Fish and Wildlife officials at the conference say that including the protection and management of endangered species on a ranch should be a part of planning for the future, but they say that having those species present should not be a hindrance for a landowner.

"Endangered species are a good indicator of the condition of the environment, so if they have endangered species on their land they've actually got good things happening on their land," says US Fish and Wildlife Services State Supervisor Mike George.

George says because grazing and endangered species are very compatible, having them can open up money and improvement opportunities.

He says a network of programs called Partners for Wildlife can help a landowner find those.

"If a person just gets a hold of the Partners for Wildlife program, they get access to dozens of other programs because these people that are in the Partners program know about these programs," says George. "They know where the money is and they can help the landowner find these pots of money and use it on their property."

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