As the lazy, hazy days of summer have been replaced by Jack Frost and thoughts of sugar plums dancing in our heads, our farm chores are also changing. Pasture growth has slowed down and may be stopped for all practical purposes, however our livestock still have daily needs to be met. Our efforts in managing […]
Fall is in the air and Jack Frost will certainly arrive soon. Each year after the first hard frost, I usually answer phone calls from forage producers who are very concerned about the dangers of feeding frosted forages. A very few, but certainly not all, of our forages can be extremely toxic soon after a […]
October signals the coming end to our pasture-growing season. In some cases the growing season equals the grazing season. When pasture growth ends, so does the grazing. However, for those graziers who have managed their pastures and watched over pasture health, the grazing season extends beyond the growing season.
How has fertilizer prices impacted forage production on your farm? How do you think fertilizer prices will influence your production in the future? Can you afford to spread fertilizer on hay and pasture fields these days? Are you sure you can afford not to spread fertilizer on your fields? How are farmers going to be […]
If you don’t make the management decisions for your farm, who will?
Late summer can be an excellent time to establish new forage stands. It is also a good time to seed in bare or thin spots in stands established this spring. While we can’t control the weather, there are several things we can control that will improve the chances for successful forage stand establishment. First, apply […]
Summer grazing management is generally about slowing paddock rotations and providing the grass plant with an adequate recovery period before another grazing pass is made. As if that were not enough of a management challenge, the pasture-based sheep and goat producer faces another twist on top of that. They must also manage summer grazing schedules […]
The high cost of fuel and animal feed make it more important than ever to get all you can out of your pasture. How do you start to improve your pasture? Take a pasture assessment — what species of grass and legumes are growing? What we currently have growing in our pastures matches our soil […]
Salt is an item commonly used in livestock feed rations and because it’s used so regularly, it is easy to forget the importance of it in the diet. Salt is the best source of both sodium and chloride, which all farm animals need. Important nutrients Sodium constitutes a very high percentage of the basic mineral […]
Everyone seems to like to talk about the weather and farmers probably lead the pack in a lot of those discussions. It is either too dry like last summer, or too wet like this winter, or too cold to get the plants growing, or too hot to have the livestock out in the fields. In […]