Spring grazing is almost here

By Chris Penrose, Ohio State University Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County

Spring is just around the corner and it will soon be time to graze our livestock. Think it is too soon? I might be cheating, but I will start grazing my spring calving cattle on stockpiled fescue in a couple weeks and if things go right, I will be done feeding hay to them. In reality, I plan on officially grazing new growth in late March (on some warmer springs, I have started around March 21). After teaching pasture and grazing programs for over 30 years and trying to “practice what I preach,” here is what I try to do.

First, we need to start off with healthy pastures, ones that can take an early grazing without hurting re-growth too much. Next, I try to estimate when the spring “flush” of new rapid growth will start. In most years, it is around April 10 in Southeast Ohio.… Continue reading