Flash Grazing Can Increase Forage Use

  Get more out of winter pastures in the Northern Plains by grazing them for a little while in May.

You don't have to only graze winter pastures [3] in the winter, says Robin Salverson, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension cow-calf field specialist.

Try "flash grazing" winter pastures in the Northern Plains in the spring instead. The grass [4] will grow back before fall and you'll have the same amount of forage to use in the winter.

"Results of a study at the SDSU Cottonwood Research Station suggest that grazing [5] winter pastures in May, targeting 25% relative utilization, allows sufficient regrowth to occur during the remainder of the growing season to maintain sufficient stockpiled forages [6] for winter use," Salverson says.

However, be careful not to graze [7] at a higher utilization rate of 50% in May or extend the grazing period into June, even at a lower utilization rate of 25%. Standing forage available for winter use could be reduced. There was also a negative shift from mid to short grasses [8] when plots were clipped in June.

To read more about flash grazing, click here. [9]


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