A new online tool from Nebraska Extension aims to connect farmers and cattle producers to encourage mutually beneficial agreements to use crop residue for grazing.
The Crop Residue Exchange is an interactive, online tool designed to help farmers and cattle producers connect and develop mutually beneficial agreements for using crop residue for grazing. A recent University of Nebraska-Lincoln survey funded by USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education showed that 17% of farmers list lack of access to cattle as the major reason cattle aren't used to graze residue on their farmland. This new online exchange serves as a way for corn and other crop producers to market their crop residue to cattle producers.
The Crop Residue Exchange is available at cropresidueexchange.unl.edu. After establishing a log-in account, farmers can list cropland available for grazing by drawing out the plot of land available using an interactive map and entering in basic information about the type of residue, fencing situation, water availability and dates available. They also provide their preferred contact information. Livestock producers can log in and search the database for cropland available for grazing within radius of a given location of interest.
"While the primary objective of this exchange is to assist in the development of farmer-cattlemen relationships, we plan to add educational materials and tools that support these relationships in the near future," says Jay Parsons, associate professor of agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Items under development include:
• a lease template to help cattle owners and farmers develop a contract
• links to tools and guidelines to help farmers and cattle owners correctly stock crop residue fields
• summary information on crop residue grazing rates
These tools will be available to all registered users of the exchange.
IANR Media developed the Crop Residue Exchange with funding support from the Nebraska Extension Innovation Grants Program.
Sources: IANR News, UNL CropWatch