Like any other system, swath grazing isn't for everyone, but for those it fits, the practice has benefits even in the late summer and early fall.
Typically, swath grazing – also referred to as windrow grazing – is associated with winter feeding cows. Summer forage is windrowed and left for grazing later. The summer approach works the same, but with the use of cross-fencing, its aim is to extend existing forage.
"Other grazers have found that windrow grazing sometimes doubles the number of grazing days compared to regular rotational grazing," explains Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist.
In order to test the method, Anderson suggests in a recent issue of his Hay and Forage Minutes newsletter to cut and windrow the amount of pasture that cattle grazing there might need for about a week. "Then build an electric cross-fence that gives them just a day or two's worth," Anderson says. "When they finish that piece, move the fence to give them some more windrows. As they near the end of the windrows you already cut, lay down another patch and repeat this strip grazing of windrows as long as you wish."