Pastures: Economics of Pasturing
Several surveys provide the most recent economic information regarding the use of intensive rotational grazing. The surveys were conducted in Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania, and involved comparative economic analyses of dairy farms that used and did not use rotational grazing.
In the surveys, farms that used rotational grazing reduced production costs by $153 and $123 per cow per year in New York and Pennsylvania, respectively. For New York farmers this translated into an average saving of $1.56 per hundred-weight of milk produced. In the Michigan survey, farms that used rotational grazing achieved an improved net income of $191 per cow per year. Also, two-thirds of the farmers using rotational grazing reported improvements in herd health.
Although pasturing systems may not be practical for all Pennsylvania farms, intensive pasture management can reduce production costs and improve overall farm profitability.