Grazing Stockpiled Forages

The use of stockpiled forages can extend the grazing season and reduce the amount of stored feed needed to feed livestock through the fall and winter months. Stockpiling forages, or allowing forage growth to accumulate for use at a later time, can help extend the grazing season. To stockpile forages, cattle should be removed from these fields starting in August. Forage is allowed to grow and accumulate. Tall fescue is ideal to use for stockpiling as quality and digestibility decline slowly overwinter compared to other common forage species which deteriorate more rapidly after frost.

Dragging and Clipping Pastures

Feeding costs are the greatest expense for livestock producers. Grazing is the cheapest source of feed. Dragging and mowing pastures are two methods that are often used to attempt to increase forage production and soil fertility. Although these practices are useful agronomically, they may not be practical economically.

Fall & Winter Grazing

Many options exist to provide livestock with high quality forages for grazing throughout the fall and early winter months. In Kentucky, these options include utilizing perennial cool-season pasture as well as a variety of small grains and brassicas. If managed properly, seeding these annual plants in late summer or early fall can provide late fall and early spring grazing as well as providing a cover crop to reduce soil erosion throughout the winter.

Tips for Stockpiling Fescue

Select field(s) to stockpile by early August
Select the field that you are going to use for stockpiling fescue. Selecting the field or area to be allocated for stockpiling fescue in early August allows one to adjust grazing rotations or management as needed ahead of time.