What Do Graziers Do in August? Stage Forage, Prep Stockpile and Plan for Winter Forage/Feed

From August of 2018, here's a list of what graziers should be doing now. August often seems to arrive too early and speeds by way too fast. Mentally to me, August 1st starts the countdown to the first frosty morning. That time frame, depending on where you are in Indiana, is generally 60-75 days. There is a lot to do in that time frame. Staging Forage My first consideration is staging forages. I hope that you are constantly thinking ahead, planning the next move and knowing where, what, and how much forage is available. It’s time to also start thinking about stockpiling forages for fall and winter use. What fields are going to be stockpiled this year? They probably need to change from year to year, just like the first field grazed in the spring. Are they in the appropriate stage of growth? To have a quality stockpile, it needs to be pretty vegetative right now. Fields that have not been grazed much or at all this year could be stockpiled, but quality, production and efficiency take a hit. I overlook those factors to a degree if I’m wanting to build and/or improve soil organic matter or soil health, but there is some cost to this procrastination.  I say that somewhat tongue in cheek because it is still probably better to graze it if you have it. It certainly is better than baling it at that point because it won’t make quality hay. If the cows are going to pick through it, let them eat the best and trample the rest. There is no reason in moving those nutrients ar

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