Biologically Effective Grazing Management Workshop, Dickinson ND


Biologically Effective Grazing Management Workshop Set for Jan. 5-7

The workshop will provide the knowledge for understanding the symbiotic partnership among perennial grass plants, soil organisms and grazing animals.

A biologically effective pasture and harvested forage management workshop will be held Jan. 5-7, 2016, at the North Dakota State University Dickinson Research Extension Center.

“Native rangeland and domesticated grassland ecosystems are the major grazing land renewable natural resources in the northern Plains,” says Lee Manske, research professor at the center. “The ‘natural resources’ portion of this term indicates that these are assets produced by processes of nature that can be sources of wealth.”

“The ‘renewable’ portion of this term is usually not recognized as an extremely important description, which declares that grazing land ecosystems have the capability to return to the potential production level of the good-as-new condition following deterioration of ecosystem performance resulting from poor management practices,” he adds.

During the workshop, beef producers will be shown how to manage land resources with biologically effective strategies that increase soil organism biomass, herbage production and calf weight per acre, resulting in the capture of greater wealth per acre.

The workshop will be held in the Red Office Building on the corner of State Avenue and Empire Road in Dickinson. The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain time. An open discussion on grassland management will be conducted during an early supper on the first day.

The workshop instructors are Manske and Toby Stroh, Dickinson State University assistant professor and ArcGIS instructor.

The first two days of the workshop are for agriculture producers who aren’t ready to have a 12-month pasture forage management plan designed for their operation but want to learn how the symbiotic partnership among perennial grass plants, soil organisms, and grazing animals can be managed to increase the productivity and quantity of wealth captured from the land, Manske says.

On the third day, workshop participants will learn how to develop and properly operate a biologically effective management strategy using twice-over rotation grazing on summer pastures in conjunction with a complete 12-month complementary pasture and harvested forage sequence specific for their ranch.

To design 12-month forage management strategies specific to individual ranches during the workshop, ArcGIS maps with each pasture and field for the entire land holdings, including owned and leased land, need to be made, and acreage of each soil type in each parcel of land needs to be calculated prior to the start of the workshop. Participants will need to provide location descriptions of land holdings one month prior to the workshop to give specialists sufficient time to develop maps.

Lodging, transportation and most meals are the responsibility of the participants. A lab fee of $25 per person will cover the cost of supplies, refreshments and a working supper on the first day. A four-volume set of textbooks is available for $95. The ArcGIS map set will cost $75 for an average-sized ranch.

An option for professional development with one or two graduate credits for this continuing education course is available through NDSU at a cost of $50 per credit. Participants will supply their own calculators and notebooks.

Information related to the workshop material can be previewed at

For workshop information or to register, call Manske at (701) 456-1118 or email To request ArcGIS maps to be developed for a ranch, contact Stroh at (701) 483-7771 or before Dec. 4.

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