A select group of steers from the WCROC were part of a multi-state grazing study, but now fulfill another purpose; organic grass-fed beef for University of Minnesota-Morris students, faculty, and staff. "We are excited to offer WCROC's healthy, tasty beef on our University tables. Opportunities to learn about the food system from pasture to plate are all too rare, but thanks to this collaboration, we are proud to say that it's happening right here in Morris," says Mary Jo Forbord, Coordinator of Morris Healthy Eating.
When choosing genetics for a grazing herd, producers should focus on profitability more than production. “It’s best to think about it in terms of the amount of milk per acre rather than just production numbers,” says Brad Heins, associate professor of dairy science at the WCROC.
Current floor space allowances for finishing hogs are based on research that is 10 to 20 years old, when hogs were marketed at around 250 pounds. Recent multi-university research (including the U of MN WCROC) aimed to determine if today’s larger finished hogs require more floor space.
U of MN graduate student, Hannah Phillips, was awarded first place in the Organic Research Forum Poster Session at the 2017 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Edcuation Service (MOSES) Conference held in La Crosse, WI. She is pursuing her Master's degree with an emphasis in organic dairy systems under the direction of WCROC dairy scientist Brad Heins.
Scientists are trying to help pork producers respond to consumers' concerns. “We want to assess and evaluate animal welfare objectively...we want to be sure animal welfare is safeguarded based on science and knowledge, rather than just saying that animal welfare is bad or good,” said Yuzhi Li of the WCROC.
Each growing season, hundreds of annual flower cultivars are trialed in the Horticulture Display Garden at the U of MN WCROC, Morris. By the end of the season, certain varieties truly stand out as a superior performer. Steve Poppe, horticulture scientist at the WCROC, determines the Top Ten Performing Annuals for our area. The 2016 Top Ten were recently featured on KARE 11.
The U of MN has become one of the world leaders having developed novel production technologies and a globally-unique wind-to-ammonia pilot plant located at the WCROC. New funding from USDA ARPA-E will further advance this important research.
The U of MN is the locus of a unique and globally significant collection of research efforts that promise to have significant impacts in the ammonia industry and the broader energy sector. And the story began in the early 2000's at the WCROC.
Certified organic grain has become increasingly expensive. Little research is available on the results of grain supplementation levels and the subsequent impacts on the economics of milk production. By looking at the various implications of several levels of grain supplementation in comparison to 100-percent grass-fed herds, we've developed practical strategies for enhancing dairy profitability.
Researchers at Iowa State University, the U of MN, and Rodale Institute are in the second year of a four-year project to evaluate the production, environmental, and economic benefits of growing cash crops with forage crops for grazing, including small grains and hay crops for livestock feed. They are comparing two crop rotations—pasture-winter wheat-soybean-pasture and pasture-winter rye/hairy vetch-corn-pasture—and grazing dairy steers on the cover crops as a method of integrating livestock and organic cropping systems.