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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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Times are tough across the agricultural sector. The dairy subsector is particularly vulnerable after five years of low milk prices, and low cattle prices are a cause of concern for beef producers.

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Grass silages can be the most versatile forage crop available to producers. They also can be the most challenging.

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Legumes add quality to grass pastures as well as providing other benefits. These plants are most noted for their ability to take nitrogen from soil and convert it to ammonia through their symbiotic relationship with rhizobia nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

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Throwing stock onto a pasture and hoping they are getting the correct nutrients is like a shot in the dark. Pasture maintenance and rehabilitation can be a daunting task; establishing a fertilization plan can help take the guesswork and burden out of the equation.

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One challenge with establishing native grass forages, really, almost any perennial forage, is the lack of forage production during the establishment cycle. Unlike annuals, perennials, especially native warm-season perennials, are distance runners.

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Sitting here at my new kitchen-countertop office location during the COVID-19 pandemic has given me an opportunity to reflect on our past research work and contemplate new directions to take based on what we have learned.

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