Old, dead grass on your CRP land will lower the grazing and hay quality next year unless it’s removed. While haying and prescribed burning can remove it, another effective way to remove it and get some benefits from it is by grazing.

But not just any type of grazing will do the job. A method called “flog grazing” does it best. Flog grazing places a very high concentration of animals in a small area for a short time period. I suggest using at least 100,000 pounds of cattle or 100 cows per acre. While many animals are crowded into this small area, they will trample much of the dead litter into the soil. In fact, the more they stomp up the area, the better. This increases soil organic matter and it hastens the return of nutrients that were trapped in the dead forage back to the soil. In addition, many nutrients from the forage and supplements your cattle eat while flog grazing will be spread back on the ground as manure and urine to enrich the soil for better grass growth next year.

As an added benefit, removal of litter and trampling by animals opens up areas for new seedlings and tillers to grow next spring.

While this sounds pretty drastic, remember, it should last only for one to seven days. Then move animals to another spot and repeat the process until all overgrown acres in your CRP have been flogged.

Start flogging as soon as allowed, before the snow flies and while at least some nutrition remains in the grass, using temporary electric fences as needed. Next spring those flogged CRP fields will grow fresh, high quality grass for you and your cattle.

Dr. Bruce Anderson, Professor of Agronomy, Agronomy & Horticulture, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, NE