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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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When the growing season has come and gone, livestock managers across the country look at what’s available to extend the grazing season. Whether it’s corn stubble, sorghum-sudan grass, stockpiled fescue, forage soybeans or small grain companion crops, those heading out to graze alternative forages should review the history of manure applications on the crop.

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One of the services offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is grazing management plans. These plans can be developed by a technical service provider (TSP).

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Extension agents and consultants have heard it all when it comes to pasture management. Some of these comments may include:

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With a quick look around pastures on any operation, it’s pretty easy to tell which pastures are used for winter feeding – “sacrifice pastures,” we call them. They get trampled and hoof-punctured as cows fox-trot back and forth to stationary feedbunks.

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According to the Iowa Beef Center’s Beef Cattle Handbook, “acidosis is the most important nutritional disorder in feedlots today.” Acidosis occurs in ruminants and other animals when they binge eat too much sugar, such as apples or starch (grains).

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Forage botulism in high-moisture baleage

For many forage producers in the Northeast, the weather has finally given a window to mow late-planted peas and oats for baleage. In fact, a lot of hay has been made into baleage this year all over the country, and some of that was put up just a bit too wet.

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