The Most Effective Pasture Rejuvenation Method Ever – and it’s FREE

There are many ways to improve your pastures. Depending on who is presenting the method it can be in the form of a mechanical, chemical, or seed amendment. Magazines are full of ads detailing the amazing results of seed varieties, the latest chemical weed suppressant, and mechanical-stimulation. However, there are no ads for the most effective method. It is something that can’t be bought from your local sales rep. You do not need to know what soil type you have or what bugs are in your soil. The formula is something you can get for free and will last longer than any input you can purchase. The method of which I speak, is to get yourself organized with a grazing chart & a weekly planner. A grazing plan is not romantic like going to a bull sale. Nor does it seem like you are really doing something which is quantifiable. The grazing plan is the simple counting of days. You don’t even have to know much about grass. All that is required is to know the approximate days of recovery for your area, counting the number of paddocks you have (I recommend at least 15), then counting the number of days of recovery for a particular time of year. In this article I will discuss how simple, yet imperative it is to develop a grazing plan for long term pasture improvement. This must be done before you learn about things like bugs in the soil, best growing grass, or best grass finishing genetics, etc. This is to say that if you don’t have your grass management figured out, everything

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4 thoughts on “The Most Effective Pasture Rejuvenation Method Ever – and it’s FREE

  1. Let me suggest a grass harvesting plan. For simplicity let us consider a vetiver (or bahia) grass pasture that is not grazed; but the grass is cut and fed to the cows in their sheds. The vetiver grass growth follows a S shaped sigmoid curve with peak growth rate after 12 weeks of tillering. After 24 weeks the growth flattens out. It is roughly seen that the growth rate increases only slightly from week 8 to week 12; the growth rate slightly reduces from week 12 to week 16. So it is suggested that the grass be cut at week 16 to the height it was at week 8. The grass will be cut at week16, week24, week32 etc. It will have 8 weeks to recover. The level to which it is cut is such that the growth rate is near the peak rate.

    I have indicated these Cut from and to levels and the time in your Grass Growth curve. How is this grass harvesting plan please?

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1FSNmetIoDwiPCiuu1Q8PoToPFcdKnP7L

    1. Vinod I am not familiar with grass that achieves peak growth until after 12wks. A grazier is trying to achieve a balance between peak grass growth, nutritional value, promotion of soil biology, and available labour. It has been my experience that leaving grass grow into maturity provides livestock with little more than cardboard. In fact, neither cattle, sheep, hogs, nor horses will eat forage that old. As I commented in the article, my experience has been at latitudes greater than 51. Length of recovery closer to the equator may be significantly longer so maybe your example is valid. It has just not been my experience.
      One more comment, as a grazier, I cringe when I think of cutting grass and hauling it to livestock. To be a low-cost producer means labour & equipment expenses must be kept at a minimum. It is much less costly to have livestock harvest their own feed.

    2. Hello Vinod.

      I was very interested to read your comments about proper timing of harvest and the graphic and practical similarities between grazing and cutting grass. As a grazier, I always tend to favor grazing over mechanical harvest, for at least two reasons: economics and nutrient loss. That said, your observation about the physiological response is, I think, spot on.

      Please watch for an up-coming article in On Pasture about the effect of repeated harvest of grass and the resultant forage growth curves.

      Sincerely,

      John Marble

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