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Grasses and Grazing

Learn about pasture management, stocking rates and grass production from beef and dairy specialists and agronomists around the country.

LATEST

“An optimal diet will feed the rumen to maximize energy supplies,” says Jim Paulson of Fieldstone Consulting.

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Let’s evaluate your pasture. “Let’s not and say we did,” would likely be the response from most people. Who can blame them? Evaluating pastures is often so subjective that it’s useless, or made to be so complicated that it’s impractical.

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Water not only impacts the feed intake of grazing livestock, but the animal’s ability to regulate body temperature. Cattle prefer water between 40 to 80˚F, and water temperature outside this range significantly reduces water intake.

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How do you decide when to move animals onto a new pasture? How long do you expect the pasture to feed them before they should be moved again? Most likely your answer is “it depends.” It depends on forage available in the pasture, forage available in alternative pastures, animal feed demand and animal production goals.

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The fear of frothy bloat has stopped many livestock producers from integrating alfalfa, clover or other high-bloat-risk species into their forage systems. Most livestock producers fear seeing one of their animals with a distended left side, struggling to breathe.

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What if $14 milk is the new norm? The answer is underwhelming and overwhelming at the same time: Something has to change.

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