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GC-Section-3-Forage-and-Grazing-Management

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3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productioni.) Seeding Options
Use grazing as a tool to tap into your latent seed bank as much as possible. Pasture will develop over time with proper management without any external seeding. There are hundreds of seed options available and nearly as many companies out there to sell it to you. However, seeding can be costly and not always successful so beware of what and when you take it on.
LINK:http://articles.extension.org/pages/64559/frost-seeding:-a-cheap-alternative-to-improve-hay-and-pasture-land
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productionii.) PerennialvsAnnual Forage Options
Perennial forage as plants that grow back every year. Annual forages will naturally terminate at the end of a growing season. You may want to seed in annual species to help with specific management goals (iereducing compaction, increasing soil health or just boost forage production.) See the links below regarding the process of choosing what annuals are right for you.
LINK: :http://onpasture.com/2014/09/29/pasture-management-perennial-or-annual-forages/
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productioniii.) Latent Seed Bank Options
The latent seed bank is literally a historic bank of seeds that already naturally exist in your soil. Seeds in soil may be dormant for hundreds of years, but can be brought back to life under certain conditions of disruption. Using fire or cattle to disrupt the soil, combined with rest are common ways to access your seed bank.
LINK:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil_seed_bank#Seed_longevityLINK:https://static1.squarespace.com/static/520ed291e4b066a62d157faa/t/52f53723e4b09d0c24fe7f49/1391802147401/NRCS_IL_Fescue+Presentation_FIN AL.pdf
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productioniv.) Plant species diversity and complexity
Nature is full of diversity. This is important as you will most likely want a mix of warm and cool season grasses, in addition to legumes andforbes, with vary growth rates and hardiness. Different plant types have different root systems which are able to extract varying minerals at different areas of the soil.
LINK:http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/news/2016/08/benefits-of-diversity-in-perennial-pastures-for-soil-health-and-forage-productionLINK:http://www.grazeonline.com/doespasturediversitymatter
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productionv.) Use of cover crops
If you use planted row crops in your grazing system, the use of cover crops can help improve soil quality and offer a bonus crop that can be grazed or harvested as forage. Cover cropping is an old concept that is again becoming very popular for its many benefits. Soil with green cover on it will be much more drought tolerant, and erosion resistant.
LINK:http://www.beefmagazine.com/americancowman/pasture-and-range/0402-extend-forages-grazingLINK:http://www.agriculture.com/livestock/cattle/grazing/crops-cattle- benefit-from-cover-crops_279-ar44961
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productionvi.) Mowing or Spraying
Many grazers use tools such as spraying herbicides or mowing pastures at certain times of the year to keep undesired growth in check. Cattle density can also be adjusted to help reduce dependence on these mechanized conventional tools. Mowing and spraying are costs that should be avoided if possible. Spraying also may leave behind residual effects that on cascading effects on other than just the target weed, such as soil microbes and beneficial insects.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productionvii.) Planned burning
The use of prescribed fire can be a very effective way to reduce brush/thatch while increasing soil carbon and unleashing your seed bank. Be sure to plan your burn, have the proper equipment and personnel on hand, and check with local authorities before using this tool.
LINK:http://blog.americangrassfedbeef.com/why-would-a-grass-farmer-burn-pasture/LINK:http://extension.missouri.edu/news/DisplayStory.aspx?N=2166
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementA) Forage Productionviii.) Herbicide and Pesticide Use
Most grazers strongly recommend limited to no herbicide/ pesticide use for many reasons. Most pesticides have residual consequences that are often not talked about or even observed for quite some time. Many insects are not pests, but have an important role to fill in a balanced ecosystem. An over abundant amount of a certain insect is often a sign of a different issue, (ieimbalance) in the eco-system that can be address in a different manner. Many branded programs do not allow these substances either so be sure to check if case you want to market your cattle to these organizations.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingi.) Be goal oriented
Your production goals are a key part of determining how and what you graze. Proper rotational grazing offers benefits to the soil, such as increasing organic matter, and improved water retention. Your stocking ratio and rotations will be influence by what type and the # of species you want to incorporate.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingii.) Management and Flexibility
Rotational grazing systems all require management and observation to keep them operating effectively. Managers should inspect daily for herd and forage health. Back up plans should be thought through in case of floods or drought in advance in order to help minimize their effects.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingiii.) Rest and recovery principles
Pastures that receive proper rest and recovery can produce up to 40% more forage than pastures that are grazed continuously.Rest all pastures for a minimum of 30 days and never take more than 50% of the grass available in order to not overstress root health and re-growth.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingiv.) Root System and Development
Over grazed plants redirect root growth and development to the surface in order to survive. As a result, continued grazing without rest, hurts root development leaving plants and soil vulnerable.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingv.) Stocking RatevsStocking Density
Root development and soil disturbance can be managed by changing the stocking rate or stocking or stocking density. The rate and density change by increasing or decreasing the amount of cattle per acre, as well as the amount of time they spend on that particular pasture.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingv.) Stocking RatevsStocking Density
Root development and soil disturbance can be managed by changing the stocking rate or stocking or stocking density. The rate and density change by increasing or decreasing the amount of cattle per acre, as well as the amount of time they spend on that particular pasture.
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementB) Rotational Grazingvi.) Principles of Disruption
Changing your pattern of grazing from time to time can also be a productive way to improve your pasture. The “Principle of Disruption” in nature, also applies to pasture. The theory is that a radical change in habit can bring a positive and significant change in outcomes. Just as the human body declines in performance with continuous physical tasks, so too do pasture systems. Using mob grazing and extended rest periods can shock pasture systems into a change of productivity. .
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementC)BrixManagementi.) What is BRIX
Degrees of BRIX is thesugarcontent of a liquid solution squeezed from plant material. One degreeBrixis 1 gram ofsucrosein 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution aspercentage by mass. If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bxonly approximates the dissolved solid content. The °Bxis traditionally used in thewine,sugar,carbonated beverage, andhoneyindustries.
LINK:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brix
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementC)BrixManagementii.) How to measure BRIX
Refractometersare a simple optical instrument that measures the amount of light refracted in a liquid.Refractometersmeasure on a "Brix" scale and measuring theBrixlevel of fruits and vegetables is very important because it is a great indicator of flavor and quality.
LINK:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JynkcAAJpFk
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementC)BrixManagementiii.) How to use BRIX to maximize gain
Incorporating BRIX management into your forage program offers many benefits. BRIX content in plants peaks in the early afternoon. By moving your herd to new pastures at that time, you ensure they will eat fresh plants at their peak energy levels which will in turn maximize gain opportunities. You may also choose to plant or encourage an increased mix of highbrixspecies in your pasture.
LINK:https://www.agrireseau.net/bovinsboucherie/documents/Brix_Measurements[1].pdf
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementC) BRIX Managementiv.) How to use BRIX to maximize gain
Incorporating BRIX management into your forage program offers many benefits. BRIX content in plants peaks in the early afternoon. By moving your herd to new pastures at that time, you ensure they will eat fresh plants at their peak energy levels which will in turn maximize gain opportunities. You may also choose to plant or encourage an increased mix of highbrixspecies in your pasture.
LINK:https://www.agrireseau.net/bovinsboucherie/documents/Brix_Measurements[1].pdf
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementD) Role of Soil OrganicMatter (SOM)i.) SOM in nature
Soil organic matter (SOM) is the organic matter component of soil, consisting of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by soil organisms. In general, the higher the SOM % the more productive your soils will be.
LINK:http://articles.extension.org/pages/63505/what-is-organic-matter-benefits
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementD) Role of Soil OrganicMatter (SOM)i.) SOM in nature
Soil organic matter (SOM) is the organic matter component of soil, consisting of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by soil organisms. In general, the higher the SOM % the more productive your soils will be.
LINK:http://articles.extension.org/pages/63505/what-is-organic-matter-benefits
3.) Forage and Grazing ManagementD) Role of Soil OrganicMatter (SOM)ii.) Water infiltration-retention
The higher the SOM levels, the better water can infiltrate and be retained in soil. The concept of water retention has a number of critical impacts. If more water can infiltrate soil, land becomes more flood resistant and drought tolerant. Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRVS) data shows that every increase in % of SOM increases water carry capacity by 25,000 gallons per acre.
LINK:http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0100e/a0100e08.htmLINK:https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/11228/PDF

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GC-Section-3-Forage-and-Grazing-Management