Forage Species Selection Grasses Regrowth Potential Legume Compatibility Winter Hardiness Ease of Establishment Drough Tolerance Flooding Tolerance Species Persistence Cool Season Grasses Italian RyegrassExcellentFairPoorExcellentFair Poor Kentucky BluegrassGoodPoorExcellentGoodFair Good OrchardgrassExcellentPoorGood Fair Good Perennial RyegrassExcellentFairPoorExcellentFair Poor QuackgrassExcellentGoodExcellentN/AGoodFairExcellent Reed CanarygrassGoodPoorExcellentPoorGoodExcellent Smooth BromegrassFairGoodExcellentGoodFair Good Tall FescueExcellentGoodFairExcellentFair TimothyFairGoodExcellentGoodPoor Warm Season Grasses IndiangrassGoodPoorGoodPoorExcellentGoodExcellent Big BluestemGoodPoorGoodPoorExcellentPoorGood Sorghum/SudanGoodPoorN/AExcellent FairN/A SwitchgrassGoodPoorGoodPoorExcellentPoorGood Legumes Regrowth Potential Bloat Problems Winter Hardiness Ease of Establishment Drough Tolerance Flooding Tolerance Species Persistence AlfalfaGoodYesExcellentGood PoorGood AlsikePoorYesGoodExcellentPoorGoodPoor Birdsfoot TrefoilFairNoExcellentPoor FairExcellent Kura CloverExcellentYesExcellentPoorGoodFairExcellent LadinoPoorYesGoodExcellentPoorGoodPoor Red CloverFairYesGoodExcellentPoorFair White CloverGoodYesExcellent GoodFairExcellent Winter hardiness assumes adapted varieties are used. Source: “Pastures for Profit: A Guide to Rotational Grazing.” 2002. University of Wisconsin (A3529) and University of Minnesota Extension Service publication FO-06145.
Source: “Improving Pasture Productivity: Pasture Establishment and Species Selection”, Cosgrove, Dennis. Extension Forage Specialist, University of Wisconsin, River Falls
Time to move ▪Cows can go in a paddock when… –Good forage growth of 8 to 12 inches –Forages had adequate rest period Complicating factors: Weather –Drought –Cold –Heat Multiple herds Too many animals Lack of labor Lack of attention
Time to move ▪Horses and sheep can go in a paddock when… –Good forage growth of 4 to 6 inches –Forages had adequate rest period Complicating factors: Weather –Drought –Cold –Heat Multiple herds Too many animals Lack of labor Lack of attention Overweight horses
Be Flexible ▪Watch and see how it goes ▪Be willing to change fencing arrangement and grazing time ▪Use temporary fencing for divisions at first ▪Pull them off when its time ▪It’s a plan, not the law. Make a plan, get as close as you can, but it ok if you don’t get there right away.
Be Observant ▪Have we had enough rain? ▪What stage of growth are the plants in? ▪Seed heads forming? That reduces quality. ▪Are there weeds getting out of control? ▪How are the horses grazing it? Sit and watch ▪How tall is the grass? ▪Has it regrown since the last grazing? ▪Good dark green color to forages?
Write it down! ▪How long you expect to graze each paddock? ▪How long were they actually in each paddock? ▪Communication is critical! Make sure your team knows the plan.
End of the season ▪Are you going to pull them off pastures for the winter? ▪Open up all gates when things freeze up? ▪Keep them off muddy and frosty pastures ▪Sacrifice area
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