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.

Drought Proofing Your Grazing System

Chris D. Teutsch
UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence at Princeton

Fly Control in Pastures

Flies are one of the most difficult pests to manage and although they cannot be totally controlled, it is possible to reduce populations and irritation to livestock. Flies not only cause irritation, but can carry and spread diseases, such as mastitis, and infections and can cause economic losses due to reduced gains and performance. There are various methods that can be used to manage fly populations.

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.

Importance of Rest Periods Between Grazing

One of the most important components of a successful rotational grazing system is allowing the forages an adequate rest period for plant recovery and regrowth. Allowing plants a sufficient rest period is vital to maximize forage quality, yield, and stand persistence. This period not only give the plants time to regrow but also to replenish stored carbohydrates and for root development. However, if plants are allowed too long of a rest period without grazing or mowing, plants will become mature and lose nutrient value and palatability.

Picking Apples off the Grazing Tree: How far can we extend the grazing season profitably?

Dr. Greg Halich, UK Ag Economist - Will grazing more and feeding less hay always increase profitability? There are many cases where cattle farmers could graze more days profitably. I would guess that more than half the cattlemen in Kentucky and the region could find ways to do so. But the statement is not universally correct and we need to evaluate the specific situation to determine if increasing grazing days will pay off.

Summer Grazing Tips

Cool-season Grass Pastures (i.e. fescue, orchardgrass, ryegrass)

Limited Water Access

Providing cattle with clean water is vital in any farming operation. How that water is provided varies from farm to farm. One can water cattle using a city/county water source or use natural sources found on the farm. In Kentucky, ponds and streams can be used to effectively water cattle.

Trace Minerals for Beef Cattle

Cattle mineralGrazing livestock require many different nutrients to support growth, milk production, and body tissue maintenance. Often minerals are separated into two categories. The minerals that are required in relatively large amounts are called major or macro minerals. These minerals are often listed on feed tags with a percentage sign following them.

The Face Fly

By Dr. Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist - Horn flies and face flies are the key pasture flies that Kentucky cattle producers face each year. Both provide unique control challenges but the face fly is the more difficult one to manage. There are two main reasons: the small amount of time spent on animals and hard-to-treat feeding sites.

Fly in face