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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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0912fg_lemus_1Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of three articles. Part 1 can be found in the Issue 8, 2011 Progressive Forage Grower, or click here to read Part 1. Part 2 can be found in the Issue 4, 2012 Progressive Forage Grower, or click here to read Part 2.

Electric fencing is the fastest and most economical way to contain livestock.

Electric fencing is more cost-effective, easier to install and repair, and requires fewer posts in the fence than barbed wire fencing.

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Once again, many beef producers are being faced with a serious summer drought that has dried up pastures across much of the region.

There are many short-term issues that must be addressed, such as nitrate toxicity, whether or not to sow any annuals this fall and marketing of some animals to reduce herd size.

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In a grazing system, the practical measurement of forage quality is animal performance.

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Forages are the foundation of a successful pasture-based dairy. So when forage yield or quality drops, so does milk production.

Successful forage systems consider more than annual forage yield or milk production per acre. They also consider plant persistence, long-term sustainability, cost per unit of milk produced and, ultimately, profitability.

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Droughts are an act of Mother Nature and cannot be controlled. However, proper management can help maintain pasture land during a period of drought:

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A survey of beef producers revealed that producers who grazed cattle longer had lower costs of production compared to producers who fed more harvested forages.

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