A recent talk given by Jack Kyle (OMAFRA Grazier Specialist) at the Muskoka Farmer’s Meeting emphasized the importance of active pasture management to maximize the benefits of the pasture and associated gains in livestock. The key to a healthy pasture is the condition of the pasture when the herd leaves it: rest and recovery is essential, keeping the herd in a paddock grazing for 1-2 days and then allowing that paddock to recover over the subsequent 30-45 days.
Other best practices include:
A paddock with a small area forces the herd to eat what is available
Lots of access to water to reduce herd movement and keep the nutrients in the pasture rather than around the water bowl
Moving from paddock to paddock frequently: to determine frequency, look at the last paddock to determine when it will reach its optimal state
Choosing forages with high yields mixed with lots of legumes – specific species can be chosen based on field conditions and producer expectations.
Rotational grazing keeps the nutrients in the field, rather than ‘mining’ them while haying. For further information, please visit: