Fall Grazing Management to Benefit Your Forages

One of the greatest temptations in the fall is to “open the gates” and “let the livestock have the run of the pasture”. In terms of pasture for the following year, this is one of the most costly mistakes that can be made. Even in the fall, it is just as important to control the movement of the livestock through the grazing system as it is during the earlier parts of the grazing season. Here's why proper fall grazing management is essential: Residual Forage Protects the Soil to Provide for Spring Regrowth Adequate residual stubble (at least 4”) or adequate trampled forage residues (at least 1,500 lb/A) on the pastures at this time of the season will modify the microclimate at the soil surface for better survival of the forages through the winter. The temperature at the soil surface will be more uniform than in an overgrazed pasture. This helps new buds, which are developed in the forage plant in the fall for the following spring, to survive. Many types of forage will grow a bud on the root or crown in the fall ready for growth right away in the spring. This bud can be damaged by extreme cold, fluctuations of temperature above and below freezing, desiccation, and physical crushing by livestock hoof action. Residual Traps Snow More Effectively Snow provid

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