But grazing intensity will slow if they need to graze into the previously mowed stubble, especially in pastures with thick stemmed grass like fescue and orchardgrass. Should We Mow/Clip Pastures? When pasture is managed correctly, it is one of the most profitable crops on the farm. Pastures were very slow growing this spring until it finally warmed up in early May. – Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line). Spring pasture management is the key to grazing season success long term. And we prefer to just mow once at the end of the season, since we multispecies graze sheep, cattle and goats. Biennials (Common burdock, bull and musk thistle, poison hemlock) Mow after plants have bolted but before seed set to prevent seed production. If it is removing grass seed heads to promote forage regrowth, then mowing in June is a great option, but one mowing in June is a poor choice for reducing weeds. It is important to determine the reason behind the need for reseeding. Contributors include members of the OSU Beef Team and beef cattle specialists and economists from across the U.S. Weekly Livestock Comments for June 1, 2018, Management Considerations for Warm-Season Perennials, Winter Application of Manure; Remember Setbacks, Visit our ‘One-stop Shop’ to View Agriculture and Natural Resources Programs. Now that we have addressed the needs of the grasses, how about our other problem with pastures: weeds. Those acres have to work as hard at growing grass as they would growing anything else. This feature is not available right now. Broadcast from now to Christmas if you need that long. I need to write a lease for 200 acres of pasture and hay ground that I have inherited. The results of the 2017 study suggests that mowing in June and August works as good as mowing every month to control weeds, and the June mowing will remove the seed heads. The spring of 2018 was the latest I can remember feeding hay to my cattle, and many producers were searching at the last minute to find some extra hay. You do need to be carefull on how to mow pasture. Finally, it is critical to give the plants a chance to rest after being mowed or grazed. Finally, it is critical to give the plants a chance to rest after being mowed or grazed. By mid-February in your country, you’ll have excellent grazing! For many of us, we are lucky to be able to mow pastures once a year but consider the needs and your priorities for your pastures. However, now may be a great time to mow pastures. A productive pasture is contingent upon a good plan, careful management, and clear goals. Prevent seed production to prevent spread. We have some ability to influence how close animals graze. Now that we have addressed the needs of the grasses, how about our other problem with pastures: weeds. ‐ Any winter pastures not fertilized in October or November – top‐dress with 50 lbs Nitrogen per acre (do not re‐apply to winter pastures already fertilized). Get off that section after it’s grazed down. What time of year do you top pasture? The spring of 2018 was the latest I can remember feeding hay to cattle and many producers were searching at the last minute to find some extra hay. Keep pasture full and competitive. Now my chickens are more, or less contained and I've read, and observed mself that if left unchecked, this cow-pies create a sour patch on the grass that cows will ignore even a year later. Once cattle are grazing underutilized areas, you can slowly draw them into other areas, as needed, by using cattle supplements as bait to get the most out of your pasture. It is at that point of transition when it is a great time to mow pastures. If we mow or graze too close, we may eventually kill off that plant and possibly favor growth of fescue, bluegrass, and weeds. Pastures were very slow growing this spring until it finally warmed up in early May. You can also spot weed with an herbicide spray that is appropriate for your area, existing vegetation, and animal use. A publication of the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team. – We put the beef cattle to pasture so we don't have to keep feeding them bales! Sadly, pastures are often neglected, … On my farm, common orchardgrass typically starts heading out in late April and it was two weeks later this year. Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email. Always read and carefully follow label instructions on any chemical additive. Asked June 4, 2016, 1:38 PM EDT. no cross fencing or rotation. Learn how to choose the right grass seed, whether it be forage grass seed for hay or pasture, or turfgrass seed.. Forage Grass and Turfgrass When looking for forage grass seed for hay or pasture, the correct choice will depend on what type(s) of animal(s) you will be feeding and the climate in your region.. Please contact site owner for help. However, now may be a great time to mow pastures. On my farm, common orchardgrass typically starts heading out in late April, and it was two weeks later this year. (Previously published in Ohio Farmer: May 14, 2018). The cattle in what Stam calls Pasture X seem to be thriving. Because parasites (mostly flies) target fresh manure piles for laying their eggs, dragging or harrowing your pastures can open up the manure piles, killing the eggs from exposure to the sun. Perhaps you are struggling with your pastures or just moved to a new property and have found that the land is fairly unproductive. Yes, will work great if you can tighten the cattle down with polywire and graze the grass down hard. Bottom line: Don't keep cattle on the same patch of pasture for more than a few days. I have consistently noticed over the years that after I mow a pasture, especially with a sickle bar mower that my cattle will readily graze the new growth, but grazing intensity will slow if they need to graze into the previously mowed stubble, especially in pastures with thick stemmed grass like fescue and orchardgrass. Selenium is marginal to deficient in most of the Southeast, so in that area of the country, providing free-choice trace mineralized salts that include selenium is important. If the pasture has been grazed once or twice already then it probably really does not have that many seed heads present, and depending on how it was grazed, weeds either. With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be an option depending on your weed pressure. Some plots get mowed one time a year in June, July, August or September; some plots all four times (each month); the control plots (not at all); and we have plots that are mowed in June and August; or July and September. For the most part of the year, late summer, autumn, winter and early spring, the ryegrass pasture sward is largely in a vegetative state, which means that the plants are concentrating all their energy on growing leaves. That rarely provides excellent results. I have started to cover the first principle, but as I transition to residual management, cutting height can play a big role with how close animals will graze and what type of forage will be favored. My colleagues Mark Landefeld, Ted Wiseman, and Jeff McCutcheon are in the fourth year of trying to determine when is the best time to mow pastures to control weeds. The results of the 2017 study suggests that mowing in June and August works as good as mowing every month to control weeds, and the June mowing will remove the seed heads. Should I get out there with a rack and spread them out, or remove them entirely to a compost pile and then later add them back to the field as finished compost, or compost tea? Get An Overview of Pasture Vegetation We have research plots at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station near Caldwell, Ohio, that are mowed at different times. you guys have been great answering questions about my horse pasture in Twisp. Cattle should be moved to fresh pasture when 50% to 70% of cover has been removed; this is important with rotational grazing that follows a high-intensity low-frequency form of grazing. Once the plant has set a seed head, the quality of the grass, especially the stem and seed head, is low. We have research plots at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station near Caldwell that are mowed at different times. Cattle should be moved to fresh pasture when 50% to 70% of cover has been removed; this is important with rotational grazing that follows a high-intensity low-frequency form of … We acknowledge the generous support of the USDA NIFA CARE program, American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control, Forages – Ohio State University Extension, OSU – Talking Sheep, Sheep Education and Information, If you have trouble accessing this page and need to request an alternate format, contact u@osu.edu. For example, if perennial weeds caused a significant reduction in the stand then the weeds must be controlled before reseeding. Once the plant has set a seed head, the quality of the grass, especially the stem and seed head is low. If we graze or mow higher, we favor orchardgrass growth and allow all the grasses to continue leaf development without the roots ceasing growth to produce new leaves. With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be an option depending on your weed pressure. While grass has been headed out for a while, mowing pastures soon to remove seed heads is a great option if needed in our pastures. With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be an option depending on your weed pressure. The renters have been using (no written contract) this place for over 20 years and have completely run it into the ground, no fences, poor pasture, overstocked, lots of weeds and ceder trees, let their stock into the ponds, do not mow, dead cows, just a damm mess. Forages should not be mowed between certain dates in the fall before dormancy as well depending on you growing zone. My colleagues Mark Landefeld, Ted Wiseman, and Jeff McCutcheon are in the fourth year of trying to determine when is the best time to mow pastures to control weeds. Ideally, you want your legumes at 3-4 inches at first and then give them a few weeks to get established. For example, orchardgrass stores its energy in the base of the plant above ground. For many of us, we are lucky if we’re able to mow pastures once a year, but consider what the needs and priorities are for your pastures. With all of the other activities we have to accomplish on our farms, sometimes mowing pastures falls down on the list of things to do. Removing the stem and seed head will even stimulate new growth. The net movement of energy is up. The results of the 2017 study suggests that mowing in June and August works as good as mowing every month to control weeds, and the June mowing will remove the seed heads. Spring vs. Fall Applications. Neither text, nor links to other websites, is reviewed or endorsed by The Ohio State University. With all of the other activities we have to accomplish on our farms, sometimes mowing pastures falls down on the list of things to do. Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email. One of the most common issues I run into with pasture planting failures is that people were in such a hurry to get grass planted, that they try to do everything all at the same time. Our perennial grasses go through two stages during the growing season: the reproductive stage and the vegetative stage. If you can evaluate the needs such as seed head removal and weed control, maybe we can better time our pasture mowings. Read more about pasture improvement in Get Pastures Off to a Good Start for Adequate Feed All Year. At this point, new growth will be leaves, which will be high in quality for livestock, and the leaves will capture sunlight and provide energy for the plant. It’s a sad sight to see cattle, horses and other livestock grazing in a dry, dead-looking pasture. If perennial weeds are a problem, consider mowing them just before their seed heads become viable. Supporting Ohio sheep producers by providing educational information, sheep research conducted at Ohio State, resources, and contact information for leaders in Ohio's sheep industry. Apply an effective herbicide in early summer. In addition, cutting height can influence what type of grass will grow. warm or cool season grasses. This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Pasture grasses and legumes are more expensive, too, because that land has to compete with corn. If you mow too often and too short you can actually hurt the grass also depending on the hieght of the growth points of forages and legumes vs. grass, ie. This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. If cows don’t graze to a clean and even residual and leave too much material behind, it’s useful to mow the camp after the cows have left to get the pasture down to the correct height.” Once a ryegrass plant has been grazed down to 4cm, all of its energy reserves go into growing a new leaf. I would have a hard time justifying clipping for this reason unless you have an active pink eye problem. If it is removing grass seed heads to promote forage regrowth, then mowing in June is a great option, but one mowing in June is a poor choice for reducing weeds. Plot data appears to show that it is best if you can mow twice — once to remove seed heads, and then again to suppress persistent weed problems like the June and August option. I have started to cover the first principle, but as I transition to residual management, cutting height can play a big role with how close animals will graze and what type of forage will be favored. Add to Favorites . About 25 University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) extension agents, state specialists and ranchers attended the South Florida management tour and workshop Sept. 19 and visited Pasture X. We need to keep in mind the three big grazing principles to make pasture management successful; avoiding seed heads, residual management and rest periods. Maybe 30 lbs./A. No producer in today’s environment wants to see big areas of grazing land go unused. how often to mow horse pasture. Spam protection has stopped this request. The late arriving spring brought many challenges around farms and the rush to get crops in the ground and to make hay has put mowing pastures on the back burner. Links and all references to outside content do not constitute (i) incorporation by reference of information contained on or in such outside content and such information should not be considered part of U.OSU.EDU or (ii) endorsement of such content by The Ohio State University. If your pasture falls into this category, Luginbuhl advocates providing a mineral mix containing 5 to 10 percent magnesium. At this point, new growth will be leaves which will be high in quality for livestock and the leaves will capture sunlight and provide energy for the plant. It Depends. Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morgan County You really need to develop a step by step plan that addresses the challenges and management requirements of a new pasture. Mowing the pasture with your rotary cutter twice a year will promote grass growth and help keep weeds down. The content of this site contains information pertaining to The Ohio State University. For many of us, we are lucky to be able to mow pastures once a year but consider the needs and your priorities for your pastures. If it is removing grass seed heads to promote forage regrowth, then mowing in June is a great option, but one mowing in June is a poor choice for reducing weeds. The results of the 2017 study suggests that mowing in June and August works as good as mowing every month to control weeds, and the June mowing will remove the seed heads. Cattle are HARD on grasses…especially new sprigs of baby grass seedlings. Finally, mowing helps you to get that overview of what kind of vegetation you have in your pasture. The third reason to clip or mow is help control pink eye in cattle. Everything the animal eats will impact the flavor of the meat. Spam protection has stopped this request. If we graze or mow higher, we favor orchardgrass growth and allow all the grasses to continue leaf development without the roots ceasing growth to produce new leaves. We have some ability to influence how close cattle graze. My colleagues Mark Landefeld, Ted Wiseman, and Jeff McCutcheon are in the fourth year of trying to determine when is the best time to mow pastures to control weeds. In other words, pastures, too, must be stretched to the max. Respective University constituents are responsible for reviewing and maintaining up to date information. Reseeding can be necessary to increase nutritional value, eradicate weeds, fill in bare spots, and improve the stand after disease problems or poor management. In this post, I will be covering: Types of cool season grasses in pastures that work well for grazing. If you have trouble accessing this page and need to request an alternate format, contact u@osu.edu. Take a typical Iowa-Missouri improved pasture that is roughly 70% tall fescue (a cool-season grass) and 30% red clover (a legume). Removing the stem and seed head will even stimulate new growth. Cattle feed is expensive today and not just corn and other grains. I have consistently noticed over the years that after I mow a pasture, especially with a sickle bar mower, my cattle will readily graze the new growth. If we mow or graze too close, we may eventually kill off that plant and possibly favor growth of fescue, bluegrass and weeds. Pasture is the predominant feed source for cattle, sheep, goats and horses in West Virginia. It is at that point of transition that it is a great time to mow pastures. If you look at a field from a “windshield” view, it is us… When grass starts growing in the spring, its main objective is to reproduce, resulting in a seed head. However, pasture is often not well managed and its productivity is low and animal productivity off the pasture does not meet its potential. The late-arriving spring brought many challenges around farms, and the rush to get crops in the ground and to make hay has put mowing pastures on the backburner. This will allow the plants to store energy in the roots or base as the leaves grow. Here is another one: I have 5 irrigated acres and am grazing 3 horses. The net movement of energy is up. With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be … The content of this site is published by the site owner(s) and is not a statement of advice, opinion, or information pertaining to The Ohio State University. Keep in mind – You shouldn’t mow your pastures through the summer more than three or four times. ‐ Limit‐graze winter pastures and standing hay as needed (one hour per day is adequate to meet the animals protein requirements). Please contact site owner for help. Once it has produced a seed head, it will transition from the reproductive stage to the vegetative stage and hopefully the net movement of energy will be down. For example, orchardgrass stores its energy in the base of the plant above ground. We need to keep in mind the three big grazing principles to make pasture management successful: avoiding seed heads, residual management, and rest periods. Once it has produced a seed head, it will transition from the reproductive stage to the vegetative stage, and hopefully the net movement of energy will be down. This will allow the plants to store energy in the roots or base as the leaves grow. Mow after bolting to prevent seed production. In addition, cutting height can influence what type of grass will grow. Some plots get mowed one time a year in June, July, August or September; some plots all four times (each month); the control plots (not at all); and we have plots that are mowed in June and August; or July and September. Reading Time: 7 minutes With Spencer Smith – Creating the right blend of forages and grasses in a pasture to finish (fatten for slaughter) cattle is not as simple as turning the cattle out to grass.It requires timing the “finishing season” for maximum flavor and health benefits. At that point, the plant wants to store enough energy in the roots or base of the plant to survive through the winter. Please try again later. Our perennial grasses go through two stages during the growing season: the reproductive stage and then the vegetative stage. At that point, the plant wants to store enough energy in the roots or base of the plant to survive through the winter. Plot data appears to show that if you can mow twice; once to remove seed heads and one to suppress persistent weed problems like the June and August option, is best. During the growing season, use a rest and rotation grazing system or a rotation grazing system to keep cattle fed and to keep grasses and vegetation cover from getting out of control. So, treat your grasses right when getting pastures ready for spring grazing. Dragging pastures can also be a tool to help control parasites and pests, Williamson says. According to Marty New, Oklahoma State While grass has been headed out for a while, mowing pastures soon to remove seed heads is a great option if needed in our pastures. Published on Jun 9, 2017. Broadcast before you move onto a section of the pasture. When grass starts growing in the spring, its’ main objective is to reproduce, resulting in a seed head. If you can evaluate the needs such as seed head removal and weed control, maybe we can better time our pasture mowings. Wheat planting is now on the mind for many growers and for some farmers and ranchers, that also leads to cattle on wheat pasture. Now that we have addressed the needs of the grasses, how about our other problem with pastures: weeds. If perennial weeds are a problem, consider mowing them just before their seed heads become viable. Tips for Improving Out-of-season Reproduction. By this time of year, most have made the decision on whether to clip pastures or not.