Helping Pastures Take Advantage of Good Soil Moisture
July 10, 2009 This year many of us have something we don't get very often — good summer soil moisture. To take full advantage of this moisture for the longer term, consider adjusting your management plans for this summer.
The only time your pastures are at work growing feed for your livestock is during the growing season when they have plenty of leaf area. To reduce the total amount of hay you feed, you need to grow as much pasture as possible. And that can only be done now, during the growing season, but only if your pastures have lots of leaves to capture sunlight. If you graze off all the leaves, pasture growth is slow so eventually you will need to feed hay that much sooner.
To keep pastures growing as fast as possible, consider feeding hay during the summer for a week.
Over the long run, this may reduce the amount of hay you feed and provide longer quality grazing.
Extension Forage Specialist