Want More Spring Forage? Leave More Winter Residual

Last fall, I hosted Victor Shelton at my farm. Victor is Indiana's NRCS Grazing Specialist, a beef farmer, and the author of “Grazing Bites," and lots of great articles in On Pasture. During our pasture walk, Victor and I discussed the effects of “Perpetual Novembers," when the ground doesn't freeze, killing frosts happen later, and plants may not go dormant because of warmer temperatures. As he looked at my pastures, he suggested I leave more residual in the fall of 2019 to improve plant and soil health resiliency under these conditions. I took his advice to heart and left 4 to 6 inches of residual behind for winter. Since lots of folks have asked about how much residual to leave when grazing pastures in winter, I'm sharing my results. This video describes what I found on April 6, 2020 and how that affects my spring grazing planning. You'll also be able to see how pastures are responding in a side-by-side comparison of the pastures from January 5, 2020 and on April 6. The pictures are in order of when the last graze was in that pasture, so you'll see how more rest resulted in more regrowth in April. https://youtu.be/MecbGIaRoTA The result of leaving more residual is also playing out as we start grazing. Those pastures with rested roots from last year’s higher residuals have me ahead of neighboring graziers by 2 weeks even though the weather has been quite cool for so far. Another question for me is, will this stronger sward lower the weed pressure of spotted k

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