Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Stocker Pasture

A lot of the pictures of eaten trees came from what we term the stocker pasture. This is a 200 acre pasture that we cut into 22, 9 acre traps and mob grazed in February (stockpiled grass) and again in late May and early June (May 20-June 12). When we came out of the pastures, I couldn't have been happier with the way they looked. The cattle had mauled the brush, stomped up the pastures and left what I thought was "enough" residual (I scored them a 3 out of 10)...all in all I thought it was perfect. I have since wondered if we shouldn't have left a little more residual because I have been disappointed with the regrowth in the pastures, even after 60 days. I am now wondering if WHEN we grazed them was much more important than how much residual we left. Although the weather has been near ideal this summer (cooler than normal with lots of timely moisture), it still got hot enough to curtail the growth of the fescue and cool season forbs and grasses. I think the solution is to continue to mob graze at various times with the goal getting a greater sward diveristy with more warm season grasses. A pasture we call the south center pasture has 200 acres of the most incredible stand of warm season grasses you've ever seen....we'll be moving the cows/calves/bulls through it starting this week. Pictures to follow.

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