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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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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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One of the most common questions coming into a state extension office is “Which variety should I plant?” Over the years, that question has often been about alfalfa. This is true even in Missouri, where 90 percent of the hay is tall fescue clipped from pastures.

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Native warm-season grasses (NWSG) are perennial, clump-forming grasses considered to be dual-purpose species.

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