NRCS Practice Standard: Prescribed Grazing (528)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Prescribed Grazing (528)
Managing the harvest of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals with the intent to achieve specific ecological, economic, and management objectives.
This practice applies to all lands where grazing and/or browsing animals are managed. Benefits of the application of this practice include but are not limited to the following: Improved or maintained desired plant communities; improved, or maintained quantity and/or quality of forage; improved or maintained surface and/or groundwater quality and/or quantity; reduced soil erosion; and improved or maintained soil health.
In using this practice, a farm must: Manage stocking rates and grazing periods to adjust the intensity, frequency, timing, duration, and distribution of grazing and/or browsing to meet the planned objectives. Provide desired grazed/browsed plants sufficient recovery time from grazing/browsing to meet planned objectives. Manage livestock movements based on rate of plant growth, available forage, and identified objectives. Manage grazing and/or browsing animals to maintain adequate vegetative cover on sensitive areas. Provide adequate quantity and quality of drinking water during period of occupancy. Develop contingency plans to deal with expected episodic disturbance events. Conform to all applicable Federal, State, Tribal and local laws. Seek measures to avoid adverse effects to endangered, threatened, and candidate species and their habitats.
Monitoring data and grazing records will be used on a regular basis within the prescribed grazing plan to ensure that objectives are being met, or to make necessary changes in the prescribed grazing plan to meet objectives.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice (CPS) Prescribed Grazing (Code 528) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:
To view the national NRCS standard Prescribed Grazing please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY