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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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A key to profitable forage livestock production is to provide adequate nutrients for good forage growth. Fertility requirements for a hay or silage crop are vastly different than for grazed forages, even if the pasture and hay crops are the same species.

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Weed control in native grasses is, for the most part, very similar to that for tall fescue, orchardgrass or bermudagrass. The similarities for all of these include two very basic principles.

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Forage quality needs to meet the animal’s nutritional requirement (Table 1) in order to maintain animal performance.

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Forage brassicas are a hot topic again. These cool-season forage crops have been used in the U.S. for more than 100 years with waxing and waning degrees of popularity.

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Humans are creatures of habit. We grow up believing and doing one thing without really giving it much thought. Take putting on pants for example: Do you put your right leg in first or your left? In many cases, it is the same with pasture management; it becomes a regular routine, and unfortunately, some practices shouldn’t.

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Custom graziers may do well to consider opportunities outside of beef cattle, particularly in areas where dairy farms are plentiful. Raising dairy heifers in confinement is pricey.

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