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Pasture And Rangeland

Find news and information for advice and tips on pasture and rangeland.

Cow/Calf Producer

How to avoid the summer pasture slump

The sight of fresh, green pastures as the summer months approach can be a welcome sight for many cattle producers, especially after feeding costly forages throughout the winter. But just as quickly as that green grass comes, the pasture quality can diminish leaving both pasture and cows’ nutrient deficient.


Storing hay with a plan

We are currently in the midst of first-cutting hay season in Ohio. The weather has been reasonably cooperative to allow timely harvest of forages so far this season. Reports of yields to this point have been mixed with several individuals that I have spoken with indicating that tonnage may be down slightly from last year due to freezing temperatures late in April and below average rainfall in May. An earlier harvest season in 2015 may have also impacted yields but should also allow for improved quality.

Pasture and Rangeland

Grazing bites, May 2015

Grass is growing. The grass is really growing! I get a little impatient sometimes waiting for spring to get here; then once it is here the speed of life goes into full throttle and the grass in the yard suddenly requires twice the normal attention. I'm not going to complain about the extra mowing, I'm just glad it is green and growing. The pastures are also growing at record speed which requires a bit more of our attention to keep under control.

Cow/Calf Producer

Weather, prices depress planting estimates

Weather and declining prices are putting a dent in the expected total of rice and corn acres planted, said Scott Stiles, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Pasture and Rangeland

Harvest schedule for first cutting alfalfa

Alfalfa producers wanting to harvest alfalfa according to forage quality will want to keep a close eye on the growing degree days (GDD) in the next 10-15 days. Using the calendar as the standard for harvesting alfalfa can lead to forages harvested at neutral detergent fiber (NDF) levels unsatisfactory for production goals. The importance of harvesting a hay crop on time can make a big difference in the fiber and energy levels for alfalfa. There is a usually a short window of opportunity to harvest alfalfa at a particular goal since NDF levels can change rapidly with increasing temperatures. Many dairy producers have a goal of 40 percent NDF. Data collected over a period of years suggests that an growers using an upright silo should begin harvesting at 750 GDD for alfalfa with 40 percent NDF + 3 percent most years. The current recommendation for producers using bunk silos is to begin cutting at 680 GDD corresponding to value of about 38 percent NDF. Using GDD is an important tool that should only be used for first cutting.


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