Intensive Grazing on Irrigated Pastures

Out West, you either do or you don’t – have irrigation that is. And it’s an important question because even though the principles are similar whether you’re grazing irrigated pastures or rainfall pastures, there are some important differences. For one, assuming that your water holds up, irrigated pastures typically have a fairly constant yield over the course of the grazing season. Western skies are often fair and heat units abound. Irrigation systems allow you to correctly supply the water to your crop. The forage yields you get from your pasture tend to be predictable and stable as long as you can keep your inputs steady. Because irrigation helps you maintain these inputs, the relatively constant supply of forage that irrigated pastures produce make them perfect for intensive grazing. What is Intensive Grazing? Intensive grazing is generally characterized by stocking densities – 50,000 to 150,000 animal pounds per acre. Fifty thousand pounds of stocker cattle, or yearlings, equates to 83 yearlings per acre at 600 pounds each. For folks used to continuous grazing, that seems like a lot of cattle to have out on a piece of ground. Each of these 6-weight yearlings will eat 3 percent of their body weight, or 18 pounds, of forage dry matter per day. If you turn 83 of them out on one acre and intend to

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

One thought on “Intensive Grazing on Irrigated Pastures

  1. Thanks Dave. Nice article. I’ll look forward to future articles as well. Way to represent Montana!

Comments are closed.

Translate »