Protect pasture yields by slowing grazing rotation
By Christine O'Reilly, OMAFRA forage and grazing specialist, and James Byrne, OMAFRA beef cattle specialist
Grass doesn’t just happen. Maximizing pasture yield requires management, and one of the most important decisions a manager can make is to give their grass enough time to fully recover after being grazed. Pastures have fully recovered from a grazing event when the grass plants have three to four new leaves. At this stage they are palatable, nutritious and have had time to store energy in their roots and lower stems to fuel regrowth the next time they are grazed.
However, sometimes pastures do not recover from grazing as quickly as producers would like. Often this happens when there is a lack of sunlight, cold conditions or not enough rainfall. In these situations, grazing managers should look for ways to slow down their rotation, which is another way of saying they make the rest period for each paddock longer. But this also means how animals are fed must also change to meet their nutritional needs.
There are two primary ways producers could slow down their rotation: add acres to the grazing platform or feed supplemental forage. |READ MORE