'Tis the season to start planning for fall and winter pastures. Really? Even though this is the middle of summer hay harvest, hay feeding season will arrive before you know it. Economically, the later hay feeding season begins, the better. Hay production costs are around $25/bale (4x5 round bale). So when you are harvesting hay, make sure the forage quality of the hay is worthy of that expense. Every day of hay feeding costs about $1.20 to $1.50/cow. Grazing stockpiled forage during fall and winter is much less expensive.
Arkansas producers using stockpiled forages saved an average of $20/animal unit compared to feeding hay in demonstrations including over 100 farms. Bermudagrass and bahiagrass can be stockpiled for grazing from October into December, and fescue can be stockpiled for grazing from December through February.
At this point, you might be thinking, "This is summer, so why worry about fall and winter pastures now?"
To read the entire article, link here.
For additional information on winter and fall grazing, link to these BEEF resources.