Lush, green pastures aren't just pretty to look at, they can be money makers for your beef cattle operation. The higher quality forage you have available, the better able your pasture will be to meet the nutritional needs of your herd. As forage provides the majority of nutrient needs to beef cattle, it's important to think about pasture management 365 days a year.
The first step in creating a quality pasture is to select grasses and legumes that will thrive in your soil and environment.
When planting fescue it's important to be aware of potential hazards associated with endophyte infected fescue. These issues can include reduced reproductive performance and lower weight gain.
Southern States offers a variety of pasture mixes for you to choose from including Grass Beef Pasture 25 lb, Grass Horse Paddock Mix 25lb, and Grass Pro Horse Pasture 25lb. Contact your local Southern States agronomist to develop a forage planting and maintenance plan for your pastures.
Our agronomists can also help you sample your soil for current conditions and test already cut hay. "The principal of testing is that you need to know what you've got," says Southern States agronomist David Jessee. "Looking at a bale of hay or an acre of ground doesn't tell the whole story." Soil test results will determine lime or fertilizing needs for the next growing season. Remember the better the soil, the greater the potential for both quantity and quality of forage in the pasture.
Once you have healthy forage growing in your fields it's crucial to have a pasture management plan. Remember, a pasture is like any other piece of equipment around the farm, it must be properly maintained for best performance. Now that summer is here, grass in your fields needs to be given a little extra TLC as heat stress can weaken the plants.
Ways to preserve your fields during the summer months include:
Taking care of your pastures isn't a one and done effort. Proper management throughout the year will pay dividends in reducing your feed bill and increasing your profit margin when you grow bigger cattle.
To speak to one of our agronomists or livestock specialists in your area find your local Southern States store.