Prescribed Grazing

By Paul Henry / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Prescribed grazing is management. For prescribed grazing, we get such a better
utilization of the forage than we would continuously grazing. In continuous grazing, you may only be getting thirty
to thirty-five percent utilization of the forage. Whereas, in prescribed grazing, we can get up to
seventy, seventy-five percent utilization. (Try not to leave them in any pasture over three days) The monitoring, the keeping records, the actual
visual assessments of the forage in the field dictates when you move those animals–
that’s the biggest part of the prescribed grazing. Been in the cattle business, you might say all my
life, I was born into it. We’ve got about a hundred acres, we’ve got it
divided into sixteen pastures, and we’ve been practising rotational grazing for
twenty-some odd years. You divide your grazing land into small pastures,
usually with electric fencing. You rotate your animals from pasture to pasture. That gives the grass a rest. We feel like we’ve increased our stocking rate by
twenty-five percent. The benefits of this practice for the producer is
the increase in forage. It’s herd health, it’s decreased feeding cost. There are multiple reasons that a producer should be
interested in prescribed grazing. There’s a lot of the practices that you establish require a pretty big investment; there are cost-share programs that will help
through NRCS if you will establish these practices according to their
standards and specifications, which is the best way.

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