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Grazing

Find out how to improve livestock production while maintaining the value of the soil and land.

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Tall fescue is one of the most predominant forage grass species throughout the “Fescue Belt” – middle to southeastern U.S. – and makes up over 10% of the U.S. land area or approximately 37 million acres.

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Weight gain in stockers on native pasture is not always a given. Producers may have expected 2 pounds per day gain on calves, only to get 1.4 pounds per day, which is far more common.

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The late Bud Williams had a quote something along these lines: “Ranchers love their cows and hate their grass. They need to learn to love their grass and hate their cows.”

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Access to good-quality water is one of the limiting factors in most grazing systems. During drought, this becomes an even greater challenge as water sources become low, creating water shortage and potential for toxicity.

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Invasive annual grasses have become problematic across the Western region because they readily outcompete more desirable perennial grasses, especially in areas that have been recently burned or where the soil and vegetation have been disturbed.

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When managing grazing livestock, matching forage production potential and animal intake seems to be often overlooked or incorrectly assumed. When I drive by a ranch in the first week of June and pastures are grazed as tight as putting greens, I know the forage system will soon fail.

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