How to Manage Wet Winter Grazing

I walked across some pastures on the last day of November and shook my head as water splashed up from my gum boots and splattered my pants. I was honestly hoping that this winter wouldn’t be anything like last year, but so far it is. Ugh, I’m afraid that mud is coming. Fall forage growth was delayed due to dry weather in most of Indiana. That dry spell didn’t last too long, but long enough to reduce fall regrowth and stockpiled forage. So, quite a bit of the area started the fall out with a little less forage than average. I estimate that my six-week dry spell cost me at least one third of my stockpile yield. Now, with slightly less forage present and grazing of stockpiled forages already in motion, it’s going to be even more important to be careful how we graze it. Don't Overgraze I don’t care if you are strip-grazing stockpile or turning livestock into one paddock at a time, it’s going to be critical this year to not overgraze. I state this for a good reason. Lots of fields were grazed down the fall and early winter of 2018-'19. When spring came with the unceasing rains, not only were forages impeded due to overgrazing the previous season, but there was little residual cover or dry matter to soften the impact of grazing livestock, thus really delaying grazing. This delay in production and grazing increased

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