Measuring, monitoring and managing

Charles Fletcher uses pasture probe to improve bottom line Purdy, Missouri — Especially when you’re feeding the stuff, most of you closely monitor the bunker, silo, bin, mow, bag, baleage line or whatever else holds the stored feed. Probably you aren’t quite as intense in keeping track of your inventory of growing pasture. With any […]

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Advisors: flush season grazing plan

This month’s question: What’s your flush-season grazing plan? Jon Bansen– The period of spring flush is probably by far the most important to manage correctly for a successful grazing season. An error we made the first couple of years grazing was always chasing over-mature grass. This led to a loss in milk production and a […]

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Solving the permanent pasture puzzle

By Nathan Weaver, Canastota, New York — Slowly the puzzle of proper grass production from semi-permanent pastures appears to be pieced together. In the last decade we removed our farm from a forage/grain operation to a forage-only farm. We placed a heavy emphasis on forage harvestable by grazing cows. Initially we looked at the new […]

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Opitz on grazing: Keeping up with spring grass

Spring pasture management may be the most difficult task in farming. The weather is so variable that a management tactic based on calendar dates and specific strategies that worked last year may fail miserably this year. Grass availability can turn from shortage to surplus in the space of a few days, and it can rain […]

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Managing for birds … and profit

By Laura Paine, Portage, Wisconsin — One of the small pleasures of grass farming is watching and listening to the songbirds that share our farms in spring and summer. Grassland songbirds don’t do anything for the bottom line, but they can be indicators of environmental health. If our farms are capable of sustaining not only […]

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The ABCs of streambank grazing

Ralph Lentz promotes the benefits of mixing cows and creeks Lake City, Minnesota — To Ralph Lentz, the answer to the question of whether stream banks should be grazed is as simple as A-B-C. In Ralph’s case, the cliché is literally true, and plain as day. Over the years he has divided his farm’s stretch […]

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