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How Short and How Often Should You Graze Your Grass?

By   /  August 19, 2019  /  4 Comments

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This comes to us from the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center of the USDA Agricultural Research Servic
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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. Cesar Tijerina says:

    great article, thanks, I could not find the article in the dairy research center, and I would like to know:
    a) Management of the plots (fertilized, irrigated, etc)
    b) Distribution of rain in the year of the study (seasonability)
    c) Stocking rate and density of cattle used for the study

    I agree that is easy to conclude that dairy cattle and their needs complicate the optimum management of grazing but probably we can find some answers if we consider increasing diversity of species in pastures according to soils and the seasonability of the place, keeping always in mind the need to select our cattle for adaptability and good reproductive performance
    best regards

  2. Gene Schriefer says:

    The research station where this data was collected is on a sandy loam soil, and receives 35+ inches of rain per year in the North Central Region. Your mileage may vary in other areas of the US.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Yes, the quantity of forage you grow may be different. But the principles work everywhere.

      • It is not inherently obvious that the principles work everywhere. In a much drier area it is possible that leaving 6″ may provide better cover and less evaporation. I think without data from other environmentally different regions we should hold off on claiming this will work everywhere.

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