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The Value of Leaving Some Forage in Pasture

Orchardgrass and red clover

“Waste not, Want Not,” right?  It’s what we learned when we were kids, and we’ve probably used it to our advantage in lots of cases.  But when it comes to forage in pasture, we may want to look at this old adage in a different way.  If you take all your forage, because you don’t want to waste it, what you’re actually wasting is all the rain that falls on your pasture.

In this NRCS Science of Soil Health video, JB Daniel points out that the single greatest threat to annual forage production is a lack of soil moisture.  Then he uses a rainfall simulator and two pasture samples, one from a continuously grazed pasture and one from a well managed pasture to show how well-managed pasture helps hold water in the soil.  Keeping this video in mind will help you when you’re someone tells “But you’ve wasted all that grass!”

Here’s the link for our tablet readers.


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