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Nutritional Value of Stockpiled and Annual Forage

By   /  December 12, 2016  /  3 Comments

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Grazing your herd through the winter on standing forages in pasture is one way to reduce costs and i
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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Great article; thank you. I would be interested to learn more about spring recovery of condition and impact on rebreeding when we are grazing forages that are inadequate to meet the needs of a dry or lactating cow. Obviously we all know you don’t starve a profit out of your herd, but we’ve also heard that moving to late spring or summer calving will allow sufficient recovery during the period of compensatory gain for low-input stock to rebreed well. Let’s keep this line of conversation and learning going.

  2. Bruce Howlett says:

    My sheep (in northern VT) were grazing stockpiled grass until last week, when the mud got too bad. The pasture was green, and ~8″ orchardgrass, meadow fescue and ryegrass, with paddock sizes gradually increasing since October. The sheep looked fine, but when I shifted them to good 1st-cut hay they ate like they hadn’t seen food for days. Now, after a week, their appetites finally start to drop. So, I probably should have given them even more area as the pasture quality declined, and taken some weekly forage samples. I think we ran this system about as far is it could go.

    • Gene Schriefer says:

      We often can have too little fiber in fall forages. 20% intake or so from average quality dry hay goes a long way to keeping sheep and cattle content. They will self supplement for whatever level of fiber they need.

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