Heads Up On Irrigating and Toxic Plants as We Move Into Fall

A question on irrigating pasture was brought up last week. Here in Indiana, there are typically only portions of three months where moisture may be lacking including July, August, and September. The first question to consider is the water source.  It will take a very good one.  One acre inch of water is a lot of water: 27,154 gallons of water, per acre!  If you only add two acre inches of water per month multiplied by the number of acres you want to irrigate, that adds up to a huge amount of water. That can strain water reserves unless you have a huge lake or other water source to pull from. Below ground water reserves also have limits; we found that out the hard way in 2012.  Whether you irrigate or not, maintaining cover of the soil with live plants or plant residue is the place to start. Good cover slows evaporation and with good soil structure, helps to increase infiltration when it does rain. A better alternative might be to include some perennial warm season grasses into your pasture system. Even a small field of switchgrass, big bluestem, or indiangrass or some combinations of, can be very beneficial and help you thrive during dry periods.  There are several producers in Indiana that would quickly tell you that their warm season grasses saved them in 2012, but they can be advantageous every year. Warm season grasses are best planted and managed separate from

All the grazing management tips you need

Subscribe to read this article and over 2,500 more!

Subscribe today!

If you're already a subscriber, log in here.

Translate »