Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 November 2010
This paper uses recent survey results from almost 1000 dairy producers in northeastern US to analyze farmers’ perceptions of barriers to the adoption of rotational grazing [management-intensive grazing (MIG)] as a means for feeding their dairy herds. The survey found that approximately 13% of dairy producers in the region were using MIG during the 2006 growing season. Approximately 40% of farmers surveyed were using a confinement feeding operation where the milking herd does not graze at all and close to 47% were using a traditional system that involved some pasture forage for the milking herd. Regardless of the popular sentiment that increased information and technical assistance is needed in the field, producers more frequently report a series of other barriers as being greater obstacles to the adoption of MIG. Farmers using confinement feeding tended to see each of the barriers presented as being more significant obstacles than did other farmers. Farmers with higher debt ratios and higher milk production per cow were more likely to view the financially related barriers (decreased milk production per cow, cash flow and farm profits) as significant obstacles.