Intensive grazing may result in better utilization of Kentucky’s forage resources. Improved forage management through controlled grazing allows producers to increase returns to the farm. To effectively develop a controlled grazing system, the producer must use fencing, which subdivides the pasture into sub-fields or paddocks. The animals may then be rotated among the paddocks to optimize forage and beef production from the system. When you develop the layout for a fencing system, consider the following points:
- Fixed resources on the farm, such as acreage, soil type, slope, rockiness;
- Semi-fixed resources, such as water supply, existing fences, existing grass base;
- Changeable resources, including forage type, temporary fences, cattle numbers;
- Other factors, including seasonal usage patterns, economics and land use for other enterprises.
New advances in fencing technology provide the needed “tools” for an intensive grazing system. High tensile fence, brought to this country from New Zealand, offers an alternative to traditional woven and barbed wire for fence construction. Also, temporary electric fencing continues to be improved. Once you have evaluated the resources and tools available, you can develop your fencing plan. Download the full publication here.