Late Winter and Early Spring Reminders

  • Refine plans for pasture use for the upcoming grazing season; consider fencing, seeding, fertilization, herbicide applications, water and shade availability.
  • Frost seeding of clovers should be performed between February 1 and March 1.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer should be applied in late February to promote early grass growth.
  • Before applying Nitrogen: Soil test pastures and use results for application of fertilizer and lime.
  • Renovate high traffic areas and bare areas to reduce erosion.
  • Purchase seed, inoculant, and fertilizer for upcoming season.

Important Reminders for August

  • Select fields for stockpiling fescue for fall and winter grazing. Apply nitrogen in early to mid-August and remember to mow or graze forage to three to four inches of height prior to nitrogen application.
  • Plan ahead for any fall seedings. Plan details such as soil testing, no till or conventional till, fertilizing requirements and removing animals from the field to allow time for establishment.
  • Follow up with any soil test results to decide on fertilizer needed for the fall. To take a soil test, contact your local county extension agent.

Four Things to Think About Before the Grazing Season

Late winter is the time to really get the ball rolling in the right direction for a successful, upcoming grazing season. Producers need to act now to take the proper steps to set their operation up to maximize grazing this year. Below are four management areas to evaluate to start off on the right foot.

Winter Reminders 2014

  • Inventory standing forage and develop a plan to utilize remaining forage. Alfalfa can now be grazed with no negative effects on spring growth as long as the ground is firm. Do not allow animals to spend more time in the field than necessary to graze forage.
  • Sample hay and obtain forage analysis prior to feeding or sale. Develop a plan for when and to which livestock hay will be fed.
  • Evaluate grazing program for the past grazing season.

Winter Reminders

  • Plan and prepare for changes to your grazing system and pasture renovations that will be implemented next spring.
  • Apply phosphate, potash, and lime according to soil test recommendations.
  • Frost seeding of clovers should be performed between February 1 and March 1.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer should be applied in late February to promote early grass growth.
  • Alfalfa can be grazed after November 1st or the first killing frost with no negative effects on spring growth.
  • Inspect and prepare

Summer Reminders

The hot summer weather is now in full swing. Certain precautions need to be taken to avoid problems in grazing systems during these hot months. At this time, cool-season species begin to decrease in production and animals begin suffering from heat stress. Keep these key management practices in mind to reduce economic loss and other negative effects during this time.

Important Reminders for March

  • Soil test to determine fertilizer applications
  • Heat stress starts as early as May- plan for shade and cool water in every paddock
  • Reduce damage to forages and soils by moving feeding area and livestock often
  • Remove animals from extremely wet pastures- consider use of a sacrifice area or feeding area
  • Control competition from weeds and undesired forages where new seedlings are emerging
  • Inspect and prepare water systems to supply water to every paddock
  • Contin

Spring Reminders

  • Soil test to determine fertilizer applications, and apply fertilizer according to soils test results.

  • Heat stress starts as early as May- plan for shade and cool water in every paddock.

  • Reduce damage to forages and soils by moving feeding area and livestock often.

  • Keep animals and equipment off extremely wet pastures- consider use of a sacrifice area or feeding area.

  • Control competition from weeds and undesired forages where new seedlings are emerging.