Start Your Grazing Season Off With Kindness

Believe it or not, sometime in the next 40 days you will be turning animals out to pasture.  Some of you will have a plan and decide when it’s the right time for the land and animals, some of you will open the barn doors using the same recipe as the last 10 years and some will open up the farm to grazing because you’re out of options and money. How you make decisions at this critical time will heavily influence the entire grazing season. I fully admit that I’ve been in all these situations over my 28 years of managing grasslands.  It allows me to broach this subject with some vigor.  To me, the first grazing of spring is always difficult.  You’ve got animals transitioning their rumens to high protein rocket fuel, the weather is very unpredictable with a good chance of mud and you have to somehow predict grass production within a sward that has clumps of orchardgrass and a low carpet of everything else.  How do you get the animals to just take one bite and move on anyway? Do you want to be more in control of your first grazing this year and create a better situation for the whole year?  Here’s the unfortunate secret:  You should have thought about it last year!  It’s called knowing your feed inventory and forage demand and getting it down on a grazing chart. My enthusiastic, past

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