Pre-Winter Feed Inventory and Tips for Grazing the Last of Your Cover Crops

Back in October we talked about taking an inventory of your pastures, hay, and other feed stuff and weighing that against what your ruminant livestock would be requiring until next spring. I hope that everyone has at least considered that recommendation and sharpened the pencil. If animal numbers have changed, which they often do, or the inventory of hay or forages has changed, then it is never a bad idea to reevaluate it again. I have certainly picked up more forage that can be stockpiled with the recent rains, which is a game changer. I spoke with one producer recently that had decided to graze some of his annuals he had planted in a crop field. He had a beautiful stand of turnips and oats. The time frame those oats and turnips will be good for grazing is somewhat limited and dependent on how long it is to a very hard freeze. It generally has to get down to 20 for a night or two to kill the oats. They can still be grazed, but quality falls quickly. The entire time that the cows are grazing the annuals, you are resting the pasture that you would have been grazing and hopefully continuing to grow some forage. Forages throughout the state are still growing some and have not gone into winter dormancy yet. However, dormancy is not too far away now, especially for the northern part of the Ind

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One thought on “Pre-Winter Feed Inventory and Tips for Grazing the Last of Your Cover Crops

  1. Thank You for a good article. Thanks especially for the last paragraph and last sentence. We worry so much about CP, CP, CP but protein doesn’t keep animals fat– unless you have A LOT of it and that is expensive. Sugar is king!

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