Effective grazing management on pastures not only ensures high forage yield, sustainability, animal health and productivity, all of which impact cost of production, it also benefits the pasture ecosystem. Innovations in pasture management give producers greater control to support the environment (e.g. biodiversity) but also allow them to better use pasture resources for food production.
Pasture is a critical resource in the cattle industry. An effective management plan requires clear understanding of forage production, realistic production goals, effective grazing strategies and timely response to forage availability and environmental changes.
Managing grazing lands so that they are productive and persist over time requires knowing when to graze certain species, if they can withstand multiple grazings/cuttings within a single year and how much recovery time is needed to prevent overgrazing (which is a matter of time not intensity).
Quick facts about Grass & Grazing -
• Producers use grazing to help reduce feed costs and make unproductive cropland productive.
• You should have a grazing plan to make sure you are as efficient as possible in using your grazing forage.
•The different grazing systems include continuous, simple rotational and intensive rotational.
•Rotational grazing is more productive than continuous grazing.
•Overgrazing results in decreased pasture quality and productivity - then you’re right back to where ya was in the first place. No grass
•You should always have a back-up plan for when things go wrong. Because if it hasn’t yet - it will.
Good pasture condition is critical to a successful grazing system. Pasture quality may vary greatly from one pasture area to another, but the trend over time should show the direction in which the pasture condition is moving.
Forage grass and legume species each have their own unique growth, persistence, and quality characteristics. Because they respond differently to soil conditions, weather patterns, fertility and grazing management, the plants that are currently growing in your pastures may be different from one area to another.
Evaluating the entire system is important to the success of your plan. Just because it works for us here in Central MO doesn’t mean it’ll work in the Boothill. Research. Learn. Educate & practice what works best for your farm.
Want more than just some words?!
Tag along over at my YouTube Channel (linkinbio) to learn more about Grass, Hay, & How that is incorporated in our Beef Operation at Wieczorek Farms.
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