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PRACTICAL PASTURE IMPROVEMENT METHODS

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Title: PRACTICAL PASTURE IMPROVEMENT METHODS


1
PRACTICAL PASTURE IMPROVEMENT METHODS
  • Jerry Lindquist
  • MSU County Extension Director
  • Osceola County

2
Benefits of Pasture
  • Low labor costs to feed animals
  • Low depreciation cost on equipment
  • Can be high quality feed
  • Healthy environment for cows
  • Total pasture feed costs usually under
    0.75/cow/day vs. feeding hay 1.05/hd/day for
    beef cows

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Managed Intensive Grazing Advantages
  • We control where animals graze
  • Increases yield
  • Increase carrying capacity
  • Extend grazing season in the fall
  • Increases forage quality
  • Increases animal performance
  • Lowers cost of production

7
Paddock Design
8
Paddock Layout - Getting Started
  • There Are No Universal Systems
  • Put It On Paper First!!!

9
Paddock Layout Basics
  • Establish At Least 8 Paddocks (87 rest period)?
  • Keep Paddocks Close To Square
  • Keep Paddocks Similar In Size
  • Maintain Flexibility In Your Design
  • Water Should Be No Further Than 800 ft.

10
Paddock Layout Basics
  • Water In Every Paddock
  • Graze Paddock No Longer Than - 7 days for beef 2
    days for dairy

11
Paddock Layout Considerations
  • Soil Type
  • Lay Of The Land
  • Forage Make-up
  • Water Availability
  • Waterline Layout
  • Ability To Harvest Hay Mechanically

12
Paddock Layout Considerations
  • Ease Of Moving Cattle To Any Paddock
  • Locate Alleyways On Higher, Drier Soil

13
Paddock Sizing
  • 500 x .0325 16.25 lbs DM / Head / Day
  • 80 hd. x 16.25 lbs 1,300 lbs of DM / Day
  • 1 grass 120 - 220 lbs of DM / Acre
  • 8 x 180 lbs 1,140 lbs of DM / Acre
  • 1,440 x 78 utilization 1,123 lbs / Acre
  • 1,300 x 5 days 6,500 lbs of DM
  • 6,500 lbs of DM / 1,123 lbs / Acre 5.8

14
0 rest
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50 rest
16
75 rest
17
83 rest
18
88 rest
19
96 rest
20
Pasture Improvement Where to Start
  • 1.) Soil test ! Provide minimum fertility.
  • 2.) Fertilize with 100 N in early spring.
  • 3.) Control weeds if necessary.
  • 4.) Sub-divide pasture. Use MIG.

21
Pasture Improvement Year 2 Beyond
  • 5.) Add improved forage species.
  • 6.) Enhance soil fertility to optimum levels.
  • 7.) Late summer N addition.
  • 8.) Add more improved forage species as
    needed.
  • 9.) Enjoy life !

22
Minimum Soil Fertility Levels
  • pH 6.2
  • phosphorus 80 LB.
  • potassium 200 LB.
  • magnesium 100 LB.

23
Current Economics of Pasture Fertilization
  • Jerry Lindquist
  • County Extension Director
  • Michigan State University Extension

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Nitrogen On Grass, 10 Year Avg. 1968-1977, Lake
City Exp. Station, MSU
  • N Applied Avg. Yield Range
  • 0 1.99 0.88-2.51
  • 50 spring 2.88 1.61-3.82
  • 100 split 3.54 2.12-5.20
  • 200 split 4.38 3.12-6.03
  • grass/leg. 4.07 2.92-6.01

26
Nitrogen On Grass, 10 Year Avg. 1968-1977, Lake
City Exp. Stn.
  • N Applied Increase Cost of

  • Extra Yield
  • 0 - -
  • 50 spring 0.89 35.39/ton
  • 100 split 1.55 36.45/ton
  • 200 split 2.39 44.56/ton
  • grass/leg. 2.08 3.26/ton

27
Nitrogen on Grass Details
  • Included two drought years and two very wet years
  • Soil was a loamy sand
  • Split N rates were applied in early May late
    June utilizing urea both times
  • Economic analysis projected with 2007 fertilizer
    price of 480/ton for urea
  • Grass legume mix was frosted seeded with red
    clover every 4th year, 8/acre, current cost of
    19/acre/year

28
Osceola Poultry Litter Trial
  • Applied fertilizer 5/3/2006
  • Harvest 1st cutting as round bales 6/26/2006
  • Measured 2nd cutting pasture growth 9/7/2006 just
    before grazing with rising pasture plate meter
  • Did not measure later fall growth

29
Product Applied To Fertilizer Plot
  • 75 /acre of 0-0-60
  • 25/acre of 11-52-0
  • 66/acre of 46-0-0

30
Product Applied to Plots with Litter
  • Poultry compost 1cubic yard per acre
  • Poultry litter 1 ton per acre
  • Turkey litter 1 ton per acre

31
Poultry Litter Test Plot Results
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Broadleaf Weed Control
  • Control before adding seed.
  • Watch grazing restriction interval.
  • Consult with extension agent or herbicide
    specialist.
  • 1 qt./acre of 2,4-D ester or
  • 1 qt./acre of Banvel or
  • 1 1/2 pt of 2,4-D ester 1/2 pt. Banvel per acre

38
Plant Post (first) Not Seed
  • Sub-division provides rest.
  • Rest provides better growth stocking rates.

39
Adding Improved Forage Specie
  • Grass is the foundation !
  • Legumes are the catalyst the cream on the top.
  • Legumes should be 20 - 40 of stand.
  • More than 40 bloat, lower gain, lower
    conception rates.

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FROST SEEDING Adding new seed to a pasture
or hayfield by broadcasting on frozen ground in
early spring letting frost snow incorporate.
43
FROST SEEDING
  • Improves Pasture Quality Yield
  • Lower Cost Than Annual Nitrogen Application (9
    vs. 42)?
  • Works Best On Loams Clay Soils or Fields With
    Natural Moisture
  • Clovers Recommended, Birdsfoot Trefoil Certain
    Grasses Can Work

44
FROST SEEDING
  • Use Improved Varieties i.e. Clovers Like
    Arlington, Cimmeron, or Marathon and High
    Yielding Trefoils Like Norcen
  • Graze Tight In The Fall
  • Broadcast Inoculated Seed Approx. 45 Days Before
    Grass Growth Begins - Best On Snow

45
FROST SEEDING
  • Broadcast 6 - 10 of Red Clover 8 - 12 of
    Trefoil or 2 - 4 of White Clover /acre
  • Dont Mix Clover Trefoil
  • For Insurance Apply 40 / Acre of Actual
    Phosphorus (90 / Acre of 0-46-0 )?
  • Lime or Potassium May Be Needed - Soil Test To
    Determine - Dont Apply Nitrogen!

46
FROST SEEDING
  • Let Grow To 8 Inches Graze, Let Grow To 8
    Inches Graze Again.
  • Do everything right then pray for rain!!!

47
Enhance Fertility To Optimum Level
  • pH 6.8
  • phosphorus 150 lb./acre
  • potassium 250 lb./acre
  • magnesium 125 lb./acre
  • calcium 75 base sat.

48
Late Summer Nitrogen Addition
  • Even with legumes.
  • Early August.
  • 40 - 60 lb./acre of N.

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Want To Learn More?
  • Join The Michigan Forage Council
  • Participate In Pasture Walks
  • Subscribe To Grazing Magazines
  • Get On The Internet
  • Go to more educational meetings like this.

53
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION
  • Jerry Lindquist
  • Osceola County Extension
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