Rest is Not a 4-Letter Word – Timing for Pasture Recovery – Part 1

The biggest mistake people make in grazing management is providing too short a recovery period for plants after grazing. Of course too much rest isn’t good either. In drier environments excluding animals from a pasture long after it has recovered will lead to reduced productivity, dead grass and bare soil. In wetter environments it can lead to brush encroachment. The basic rule is: When growth is slow, we should use long recovery periods. When growth is faster, recovery periods should be shorter. This invites several questions, including: "How long is long enough?” “How long is too long?” and “How short is too short?” The only responsible answer to each of these questions is, “It depends.” It depends on the time of year, the type of plants we have, and on our goals - like stockpiling or other management objectives. The Rule of Thumb: Slow Growth = Longer Rest Periods Fast Growth = Shorter Rest Periods It also depends on how severely the pasture was used the last time it was grazed. The more severely it was used, the longer it will take to recover. In this 3:47 video, let's look at what happens to the amount of rest a pasture needs when it gets grazed more severely. (Complete transcripts of this video are included as part of the Grazing 101 ebook. Head to the home page for a free download.) Leave More Leaves Severe grazing isn't necessarily bad provided you give plants a lot of time to recover, and they will need

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