How to Establish a Denser Pasture Sward and Not Spend Money

posted in: Animals, Grazing/Pasture | 0

Establishing and maintaining good quality pasture is actually difficult. Invasive species, capped soil, and general lack of fertility are all issues that must be addressed if the pasture is to maintain quality and density. The more dense the pasture (plant spacing), the less erosion occurs, the more potential number of animals can graze, and the more money can be made. Dense pasture is a win/win for all goals in pasture management. But how to get there without spending countless hours and cost? Here’s one way: proper use of herding animals (like cows) during rainstorms!

Note the picture below. Sixty cows were huddled in this area (because the electric fence herded them here) during a 2″ downpour. I did manage to move them a couple of hours later, but not before they turned this pasture into a mud hole. However, not all is lost. All the green plant material was pounded into the soil, and the trillions of grass seed that exists all around was “planted” by the cattle hooves. It will take 2 years to recover, but when

it does the lushness and density will be magnified 10-fold. I would not recommend doing this all over your pasture in any given year, as this would limit your stocking rate potential. But, the  pasture manager should strategically plan for some percentage of the whole pasture to be effected by mobbing cows during rain events just to keep pastures on a upward trajectory.

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