Winter Strip Grazing – Determining Strip Size

Here are the ins and outs and the math for figuring out how big each strip should be to feed your cattle and make best use of your stockpile. It comes to us from our November 2014 issue of On Pasture. We reconfigured our farm’s permanent, hi-tensile fence to better allow the use of portable fencing. Portable fencing allows flexibility, and flexibility allows the management of your grass to be done much better and more easily. (Read more about that here.) The difference between strip grazing and just making small paddocks is the lack of a back fence. Strip grazing is done when the forages are dormant, and the cattle are allowed to go back over what they have grazed. If done when the forages are growing, the livestock would begin grazing the re-growth and do damage to the plants. Grazing stockpiled forage during the dormant season is fairly simple. You will need two portable reels and enough temporary posts to hold the wire up. If you don’t have the perimeters of your paddocks powered, you can use a small portable energizer to power the polybraid. What you need to learn to strip graze properly is how to judge the amount of forage per acre that is stockpiled, plus how many pounds of grass your stock need to eat every day. This varies greatly depending on whether you’re grazing stockers, dry cows or lactating cattle. As a rule o

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