New online tool connects ranchers, farmers, grassland managers
South Dakota ranchers, farmers, and grassland managers have a new tool to collaborate and improve both soil quality and livestock nutrition.
The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has created a website, sdgrazingexchange.com, with an interactive map that shows livestock producers where there are croplands and grasslands are available for grazing.
The website includes additional educational resources, such as fact sheets on a variety of topics related to livestock integration, crop residue, and cover crops, contracting resources. It also has contact information for organizations that can provide additional technical assistance.
According to the coalition, integrating livestock into cropland and grassland management is a key to increasing overall soil health. In their brochure promoting the grazing exchange, the coalition says, “Grazing cover crops and/or crop residues allows livestock to be taken off perennial grasslands earlier in the fall, extending the grass recovery period, and providing a higher nutrition diet for livestock.”
The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is a producer-led, non-profit organization established in 2015 to promote improved soil health in the state.