Grazing at too low of a height causes overgrazing and decreases stand productivity and longevity. The general recommendation is to remove livestock once pastures are grazed down to an average height of 3 to 4 inches. Although, in pastures with mixed species, it is best to follow this recommendation to avoid overgrazing and reducing desirable species, ideal grazing height can vary depending on the forage species. Below is a table with the recommended height to remove animals from a pasture:

Species

Start Grazing

End Grazing

Orchardgrass

8-10”

3-4”

Kentucky Bluegrass

8-10”

1-2”

Tall Fescue

8-10”

3-4”

Alfalfa

Bud Stage

2-3”

Annual Ryegrass

8-10”

2-3”

Bermudagrass

6-8”

1-2”

Other Cool-Season Grasses/Legumes

8-10”

3-4”

Warm-Season Annual Grasses

20-24”

8-10”

Warm-Season Native Grasses

18-22”

8-10”