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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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Forage is the foundation for all cattle and equine diets. The digestive systems in ruminants such as cattle, goats, deer and elk and the hindgut-fermenting species such as horses, elephants and rodents, all digest forages through a process called fermentation.

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Brassicas are cool-season annual forages that can be utilized as pasture during the spring, summer and late fall grazing seasons when cool-season perennial pastures may not be as productive.

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I am sitting here at my desk in July contemplating how to write a magazine article that will be interesting and relevant for forage producers nationwide.

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“Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is an annual grass that invades pastures and increases fire frequency,” says Dr. Ann Kennedy, a recently retired soil scientist/soil microbiologist from ARS (Agricultural Research Service) USDA at Pullman, Washington.

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Will grazing more and feeding less hay always increase profitability? There are many cases where cattle farmers could graze more days profitably.

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Tall fescue is one of the most important forage species, with about 40 million acres of it in the U.S. Yet forage growers have reported that yield loss and stand declines have gotten increasingly noticeable over the last few years.

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