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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.

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“Have you ever gone to a company-sponsored producer meeting with one hand over your billfold and one hand over your checkbook, afraid that they [vitamin and mineral supplement companies] would try to squeeze one more dollar out of you?”

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Properly balancing livestock forage demand with available supply is imperative for profitable ranching, yet it is the hardest task to accomplish. Precipitation produces forage, and forage produces beef, lamb and milk.

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Producers can choose from a wide variety of forage species when they create a forage system from scratch. Options include both annuals and perennials, with both warm- and cool-season species represented, and the varieties available within species are many.

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The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) funded a research project conducted in Kentucky, Minnesota and New York to evaluate high-quality alfalfa and alfalfa-grass mixtures.

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In the not-so-good-old days, there was a time when cotton was king and grass was despised in the South. It was a hardscrabble life, and the cotton plant was easily choked by competition.

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Choosing which grass to plant can be confusing. There are multiple different species, and then varieties within the species. Mix or straight, add legume or not? This can be a complicated decision.

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