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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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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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You don’t have to pick up too many livestock magazines to know there is a lot of talk about high-density, short-duration grazing … better known as “mob” grazing.

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Pastures are fundamentally different than croplands. When cropland is harvested, large amounts of plant nutrients are removed, so relatively large rates of nutrients are often needed.

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It’s not uncommon for Arkansas cattle farms to have streams and rivulets bisecting pastures.

Unfortunately, so is streambank erosion, said Dirk Philipp, assistant professor-forages for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

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