Here’s What You Should Be Thinking About Now To Have a Great Grazing Season

It’s the first of June. Generally, by the first of June, most cool-season forages have peaked their growth and quite often have reached about two thirds of their production for the year. Clippings taken support that theory. Unfortunately, at least here in Indiana, there just haven’t been enough warm sunny days for this to occur this spring until just recently. With this date being a major pivoting point for the growing season, it is usually a decent gauge of stocking rate and grazing efficiency. If you are short of forage at this time of year, then the stocking rate is too high. Think about this for a moment. If you are short on forages at the peak of the cool-season forage season, then where will you be when it turns hot and dry? The old soap box talks start getting a little bit old, but here it is: You need to maintain the forage solar panel to keep the plant growing, producing and maintaining sufficient live roots to go down after moisture and nutrients. A short vegetative top means short roots. The combination of short roots, lack of sufficient soil cover allowing increased evaporation, and lack of adequate rest between grazing periods just doesn’t work out well once it turns hot and dry. Maintaining cover and sufficient live green leaf is a good place to start for that contingency plan. Pay Attention to Stop-Grazing Heights Stop-grazing heights for most cool-season forag

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2 thoughts on “Here’s What You Should Be Thinking About Now To Have a Great Grazing Season

  1. When orchard grass and tall fescue are clipped just after the seed heads form, will it stay vegetative for the rest of the growing season or will it go into the reproductive stage again?

    When measuring the height of a stand of forage, what part(s) of the plant is measured?

    Will sheep graze just the leaves of fescue or orchard grass that has headed out, and if so, are the leaves still of high quality as forage? Should I clip a headed out paddock before turning sheep into it?

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