How controlled grazing for best gains pays off

Use short graze periods, low stress, diverse forage species and a clean dense sward at the proper stage of growth.

While we are always interested in seeing our stock do well, our management should vary depending upon what we are trying to accomplish at any given time.

Much of the time management will be designed to supply sufficient nutrition to as much stock as is feasible. Going into winter with a set of dry cows, the goal might change to stretching a supply of dormant grass into as many days of adequate nutrition as possible.

There will also be times when the goal is to maximize the amount of nutrition that a set of animals take in from pasture. Animals being fattened for slaughter, dairy cows in the milk string and young animals being pushed for gain are the examples that come to mind.

Lack of protein is seldom a problem on properly grazed green pasture but protein can be too high for best performance of fattening or milking animals if the forage is grazed at very immature stages.

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TAGS: Pasture
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