Illini-Graze Pasture Planner Now Available
by Jim Morrison, Extension Educator, Crop Systems
A new University of Illinois computer program, titled Illini-Graze2005, is now available as a compact disc (CD) to help graziers plan management intensive grazing systems, allocate forages, and consider extended grazing season options.
Illini-Graze2005, developed by University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel, is an Excel-based spreadsheet allowing graziers to enter livestock types and forage crops to determine forage balance for their farm. Development was funded by an Illinois Department of Agriculture Conservation 2000 grant.
Users of the program enter livestock information (type, number, average weight, and date to begin and end grazing) and forage information (type/species, acres, and grazing plan). Users also indicate the level of management either average or optimum which reflects soil fertility, weed presence, and forage density. Forage production figures, both total yield and allocation by month, are listed for northern, central and southern Illinois.
After livestock and forage information are entered, the amount of forage produced and required each month is shown. Like many computer programs, users can change (or “play what if”) livestock, forage, and management level. Users have the option to enter their own forage production and consumption figures instead of using the program’s “default” values.
The CD also includes “Cowboy Math”, developed by the University of Georgia, which calculates the number and size of paddocks for a managed grazing system. Also included is the “Illinois Grazing Manual”.
The CD is available for $5.00 by contacting Dean Oswald (email@example.com), Extension educator at the Macomb Extension Center, 309-836-3366. Make your check payable to University of Illinois Extension.
Jim Morrison, (815) 397-7714, firstname.lastname@example.org