grazing weedy pasture

Some of our thinnest, weediest, briary-est pasture is out back by the woods’ gate, where last year, after the mid-summer grazing, two months of dry weather meant poor regrowth for the cool-season grasses we were counting on for winter stockpile.  Lost us at least a couple of weeks’ grazing for the dry cows and steers in December and January, but we passed over it lightly, leaving plenty of cover.  On the first pass this spring the regrowth was still rather thin — not that there were bare spots and exposed soil, just short, unthrifty grasses and plenty of the low cane we call ‘tanglefoot’.  We wanted to hit it lightly, and each paddock was bigger than the last as we tried to minimize close grazing.  We don’t have a guidebook for how to remediate this kind of pasture, so we have to make it up as we go along.  A week or two later, regrowth seems to be coming on all right.  Intensive grazing seems to be more art and intuition than science, at least in the day-to-day decisions, and the results are remarkable.

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