Pasture maintenance during the growing season is critical to long-term productivity. Iowa State University Agronomist and Extension Forage Specialist Steve Barnhart provides the following tips to consider for the months of June and July.
- Clip seed heads to prevent formation on fescue and control weeds as necessary.
- Monitor and record pasture rotations for proper graze and rest periods.
- Prepare a pasture risk management strategy based on the availability alternative pasture or hay meadows, and the price and availability of hay, grain, and grain by?products.
- Consider high intensity early season grazing of warm?season perennial grass pasture by stockers for a few weeks in early? to mid?June
- Apply needed topdress phosphorus and potassium to alfalfa and other hay meadows, if not completed in early spring.
- Monitor alfalfa fields for potato leafhopper
- Consider cutting oats for hay or silage at early head emergence to provide higher quality cereal forage. Delaying to the "soft dough" grain development stage will add 15 to 20 percent yield, but at the sacrifice of forage nutritive value. Removing cereal grain cover crop shade competition early aids in more rapid development of under?seeded forage seedlings.
- Avoid grazing warm?season annual or perennial grasses below an average 5?6 inch stubble height.
- Incorporate alfalfa fields or paddocks into grazing system to compensate for poor growth of cool?season grasses, if needed.
- Monitor and record pasture forage productivity and regrowth rates. Consider rainfall patterns, and implement drought management options if needed.
- Monitor alfalfa fields for potato leafhopper.