What You Need to Know to Get the Best Regrowth After Grazing

Different plants respond differently to being grazed. Knowing how, and why, can help you decide how you are going to manage your pasture and hayfields. To sum it all up, tall plants grazed short will have to rely on their roots to feed them for regrowth, but low-growing plants have leaves that will provide energy for regrowth from photosynthesis. To quote Geoff Brink of USDA-ARS: "Plants would prefer to grow new leaves by producing carbohydrates with old leaves than by moving stored carbohydrates. It's easier and more efficient." In other words, leaving some leaves to help the plant regrow is preferred. Even though old leaves are less efficient at photosynthesis, having them around to feed the plant is more efficient than dragging stored energy out of the roots and using that. To apply that concept, it helps to know which plants, grazed too short, will have bigger problems than others. One big determinant is the growing point. The graph of "Morphological Characteristics" gives you a good idea of which plants are considered tall or short. Tall plants have more regrowth problems when grazed to low. Short plants have more leaves at lower heights, so when grazed short, will still be able to depend on photosynthesis. It is the jointed

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One thought on “What You Need to Know to Get the Best Regrowth After Grazing

  1. We are fortunate to have Geoff Brink in Wisconsin doing this research.

    While not part of Geoff’s research on residual height, residual also helps to shade soil and maintain cooler soil temperatures in summer creating a more favorable micro-climate. We’re in a continental climate zone, cold winters, warm summer, and keeping soil (and plants) in the temperature comfort zone keeps them actively growing and reduce soil moisture loss.

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