USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities
Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA)'s proposal Implementing Precision Ag Tech to Expand the Participation of Small Grazing Dairy Farms in Climate-Smart Commodities was selected for funding support through USDA's Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. The five-year $4,770,000 project will allow DGA and its partners to provide technical assistance and direct payments to dairy producers who utilize managed grazing. Participating dairy graziers will use PaddockTrac technology in concert with scientific modeling to quantify soil carbon storage and sequestration rates as well as other ecosytem services provided by grazing acreage on their individual farms.
The goal of the project is to develop a verified traceability model that can be used to articulate the climate benefits of managed grazing into a novel marketplace.
PaddockTrac is an innovative technology that collects forage data to help improve grazing management. The portable device attaches to an ATV and uses sonar to take 50 readings of forage density per second. The data is processed through a smartphone app and compiled into an online grazing wedge. The grazing wedge provides graziers with an accurate visualization of the amount of feed in pastures for proactive decision making.