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hot pepperHot Link: Spring Turnout

When is the best time to start grazing? That depends on what you're trying to accomplish, says Jim Gerrish, beef grazing expert at the University of Missouri's Forage Systems Research Center. For more on the subject, also see When to Start Grazing Cool-Season Forages in our Gear Up For Grazing feature.

hot pepperHot Link: The Grazing Wedge

Here's a simple (but powerful) tool for pasture management.

At his Owenlea Holsteins website, dairy grazier F.W. Owen clearly explains an important concept that he admits once eluded him -- and continues to elude other graziers.

But once understood, the grazing wedge is a powerful tool that will help you:
  • inventory and ration out your pasture.
  • know when to get the haybine ready.
  • predict shortfalls in pasture forage.
With the help of a low-cost, farm-made pasture plate, a weekly pasture walk to measure standing forage, and a simple spreadsheet program, you can construct visual representations that will help you manage your paddock rotation more precisely. Explore the rest of Owens' site while you're there. It's perhaps the best grazing site on the 'net.

The plate: The pasture-walk data: The grazing wedge:
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Graphics courtesy Univ. of W.Va. Extension (left) and F.W. Owen

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