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Grazing to Grow Better Pasture

By   /  April 7, 2014  /  3 Comments

Though you may not have the same grass species described in this article, you’re sure to get some information about how grazing affects plant rooting depth, shading, and nutrient distribution and some good ideas about how to manage your grazing to get the results you’d like.

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There’s been a lot of attention paid to the potential negative impacts of grazing; however, gr
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About the author

Dr. Andrae has a 65% extension, 25% research and 10% teaching appointment at Clemson University. His extension program focuses on improving the management of forage crops for beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses and small ruminants. In particular he works on fescue toxicosis, grazing management, and legume incorporation into grazing systems. He's also doing research on grazing and novel endophyte management impacts on tall fescue toxicosis (impacts on both male and female reproduction recently emphasized), the impact of various forage species and effects of grain supplementation on forage-based beef production, effects of grazing high sugar ryegrass cultivars on stocker performance, and evaluation of various forage legume and grass species for use in the Southeastern US. John also teaches a senior/graduate level forage crop management course.


  1. Any tips on managing Johnsongrass for its nutritive value vs. trying to eliminate it in the pastures. As it is part of a variety of forages, I haven’t worried about it. Should I be? I am in southwest Louisiana.

    • John Andrae says:

      Hi Anne,
      Johnsongrass is difficult to manage in pastures due to its requirements for long rest periods to maintain root energy stores. We don’t have much Johnsongrass in SC pastures and (perhaps unfortunately) we tend to fight it in bermudagrass hayfields. The Black Belt area of Alabama has about 400,000 acres of Johnsongrass in strict hay production, but I’m not aware of many acres being grazed because of its management requirements and sensitivity to overgrazing.

  2. Chip Hines says:

    Good basic information. It is the same strategy for most plants, and only needs to be adjusted for differing environments, from heavy precipitation to arid, from tall grasses to short grass species.

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