It is real easy to slough off any serious planned grazing this time of year because for most of us it appears we have much more forage than we can utilize. And for some it is approaching that time of year where mechanically harvesting of hay begins. On our ranch we have found that the quickest road to shortages of winter grazing can be accomplished the quickest by processing hay on your own farm. Yes, cutting of hay in a paddock will eventually reduce total annual production of forage from that paddock. Allowing that forage to come to full seed head, before grazing and trampling in the residue, will build organic matter in a way that no other system can. This will slowly increase total production of forages, and increase diversity in the paddock of higher quality forages that never get a chance to establish if the paddock would have been cut for hay.
|Dense, multi specie forages create healthy balance for soil and animals|