Strategies for Repairing Pugged Pastures

By: Chris Teutsch, UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence at Princeton

Picture 1

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.

Preventing Grass Tetany

As spring approaches and grass begins to grow, grazing livestock may experience a forage-related problem known as grass tetany, grass staggers, lactation tetany, or hypomagnesemia. Grass tetany is a metabolic disorder caused by reduced magnesium (Mg) levels in the animal’s blood. In cattle, it generally affects older, lactating cows but can also be seen in dry cows, young cows, and in rare cases, growing calves. Symptoms often observed include nervousness, lack of coordination, muscular spasms, staggering, convulsions, coma, milk yield decrease, and death.

Use of Temporary Fence

Temporary fenceThe practice of rotational grazing allows forages a rest period that permits them to initiate regrowth, renew carbohydrate stores, and improves yield and persistency. A rotational grazing system divides a larger pasture into smaller paddocks allowing livestock to be moved from one paddock to another easily.

Planning your Grazing System

Rotational grazing can help producers increase forage productivity, which can increase the profitability of an operation. Additional benefits to implementing a rotational grazing system include: reduced supplemental feed costs, improved animal distribution and forage utilization, improved manure distribution and nutrient use, and many more. While many producers want to achieve these benefits, many struggle with implementing a system to achieve their grazing goals.

Planning for Pasture Fly Control

Written by Dr. Lee Townsend - Here are a few things to consider as you weigh the options for pasture flies: face fly and horn fly control.

What is your key pest?

Transition from Stored Feed to Pasture

Pastures have greened up and are once again producing lush, high quality forages for grazing. Although it may be tempting to put livestock back on these pastures right away, certain precautions should be taken to protect the livestock and the new forage growth.

Rotational vs. Continuous Grazing

In Kentucky, having cattle that graze is how many farmers provide additional income for their families. Continuous grazing has been the traditional way to graze cattle over generations, but there may be a way to improve your grazing system and make your operation more profitable. An alternative to continuous grazing is a method called rotational grazing . Each farm is different, and a grazing system that works for your neighbor may not work for you.

Managing Legumes in Spring Pasture for Bloat

Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, Extension Beef Specialist - Pastures were slow to green-up with the cool weather this spring. However, the past few days of warm weather has really made the grass pop. I noticed today, April 18, that some of the timothy and bluegrass was beginning to flower. Now is a good time to be investigating pasture stands for legume content.

Producing Quality Hay

Hay is the most commonly stored forage on most Kentucky farms. Since hay is widely utilized, understanding the factors that affect the quality of hay is important, as well as how to produce high quality hay. The ulti-mate test of hay quality is animal performance.