As summer turns pastures brown, there are some ways to help spare pastures to keep them productive next grazing season, according to Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska professor of agronomy:

  • Adjust stocking rate.
  • Don’t keep animals that aren’t clearly paying their way with good production.
  • Divide pastures into smaller paddocks. Making animals graze in small areas for short periods of time reduces the amount of grass lost due to trampling and encourages animals to eat some of what they normally would allow go to waste.
  • When you have to feed hay or other supplements, confine animals in a small area instead of allowing them to roam throughout your pasture. Roaming animals trample and damage old plants, and they graze new regrowth before it is ready.
  • Start feeding hay before your pasture completely declines in quality. While feeding, your pasture will be able to use whatever moisture is available for growth without extra stress from grazing animals. “By using hay feeding to extend the recovery period for your pasture, you improve the health and vigor of existing plants, as well as give them a chance to produce as much as possible for later grazing.”