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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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This fall and winter has been very wet across most of the eastern U.S. In some areas, fields have been wet since August. In years like this, normal plans for dealing with mud may not be enough.

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If the fuel tank gets low, you better fill ’er up

“This looks more like a golf course putting green,” I thought to myself as I pulled up to the pasture in question.

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The amount of forage produced in pastures changes each year, mostly due to rainfall and temperature fluctuations. Hot and dry years tend to have less forage production than wet and temperate years.

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There’s a bright spot on the horizon – the future of forages will be in good hands. Youth from 10 states entered the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) 2019 youth essay contest, with prizes awarded at the annual convention in January in St. Louis, Missouri. Winners in the three categories are:

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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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