Managing Spring Grass: Going from 0 to 60!

Spring can often be one of the most challenging times of the year for graziers. Grass growth goes from nonexistent to excessive in a matter of weeks and in many cases grazing livestock have a hard time keeping up with it.  This can result in lower quality forage that is less palatable. Continued growth of new forage is also delayed if the growing point (developing seedhead) of season grasses is not removed. The presence of the growing point suppresses new tiller formation at the base of the grass plant. The following suggestions can help you to control spring growth and get the most out of your spring pastures.

  • Implement rotational grazing.
  • Start grazing before you think the pastures are ready.
  • Rotate animals rapidly in the spring.
  • Limit use of spring nitrogen to reduce excess growth.
  • Remove most productive paddocks from rotation and harvest for hay.
  • Increase stocking density in the spring.
  • Even out forage distribution – add warm-seasons
  • Bush-hog out of control pastures.

~Dr. Chris D. Teutsch, the full article will soon be published in the April Grazing News.