How to Manage for What’s Happening in Pastures Now

As I’ve traveled around my state of Indiana lately, I have seen quite a range i

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One thought on “How to Manage for What’s Happening in Pastures Now

  1. Unless we’re doing a direct cut system, when we cut forage it will continue to respire and burn carbohydrates and in the process lose dry matter. If the forage is alfalfa, we lose leaves if we rake or turn the hay and we lose leaves when we bale. The drier the forage the more the losses.

    Wisconsin estimates are a WELL run forage harvesting system is only 70% efficient. If we do twice daily or daily moves we can approach this as well, if we choose, or we can maintain 50%+ residual and not have plant growth rate slow down.

    IMO the time to decide to take excess pasture growth as stored feed is in May (north central US). Which means we need to have an inventory of grass and growth rates and consumption to project forward. Cutting in mid to late June we run the risk of hot dry weather and conditions less favorable for cool season forage growth. Against my advice we’ve had producers cut pasture the end of June and had little to no regrowth until September when temperatures moderated and reliable rains returned.

    For beef (and sheep) grazing, our producers are having success with developing a summer stockpile and then mob grazing this into the summer slump period.

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