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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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Cover crops can provide many benefits to producers, from forage value to soil health improvements and beyond. With many species to choose from, it can sometimes be a challenge to know where to start.

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This is a bit of a controversial topic: science versus practice. Dear Reader, if you feel comfortable with a passionate examination of a controversy, please read on. Because I’d like to visit about an emerging situation in the grazing world.

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Historically, dairy and beef producers have been focused on maximizing animal outputs. This has been achieved through the adoption of new management systems, improved animal and crop genetics, and large-scale mechanization and automation of operations. However, new challenges face the 21st century producer.

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Over the last 10 years, foxtail seems to have taken over many farms in the Southeast. While early in the summer young foxtail is not very evident, in the late summer and early fall, its seedheads are prevalent throughout fields across the South.

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Discussing grazing management can easily be just as problematic as other controversial topics such as politics, religion and sports. Everyone has a style, “mine is better than yours” and “this is the right way.”

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Pasture improvement would be simplified if we just had a silver bullet to increase forage growth, improve nutritive value, control pasture weeds and graze longer throughout the year.

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