Monday, June 29, 2009

Resist the temptation not to move

Repeat after me: Resist the temptation to “get one more hour/one more night/ one more day” out of your paddock. I know it looks like you are “wasting” a lot of good grass, but you will be money ahead to get the cattle out as planned and into the next paddock. I began this season scoring the residual left in the paddocks on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being eaten into the ground and 10 being barely touched. I felt like 3 was the optimal score….I have changed my mind….6 is the optimal score. The paddocks that scored a 3 have had 30 days of rest and they look great (about 4-5 inches of regrowth) and will probably be ready to graze in another 20 days or so. The paddocks that scored a 6 or a 7 have had 20 days of rest and are incredible…they’re ready to be grazed again right now. Just remember that the grass you leave in the paddock will be there the next time thru. Keep saying that to yourself and resist the temptation to run the cattle just a little longer….move them! I say this but understand that this sentiment might clearly don't want your grass too mature and rank the next time you move into the paddock, so there is certainly a happy medium that needs to be found that leaves the plant the right amount of leaf area for optimum recovery but still gets as much forage consumed by the cattle as possible.

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