Presenter Information

Larry Turner, University of Kentucky

Start Date

29-2-1996 10:30 AM

Description

Controlled or rotational grazing can result in better utilization of the forage resources on your farm. By better forage management through controlled grazing, you can increase profitability of cattle/forage systems. To effectively develop a controlled grazing system, however, fencing must be used to subdivide the pasture into sub-fields or paddocks. The animals may then be rotated among the paddocks to optimize forage and beef or dairy production from the system. Alfalfa grazing can play an important part in such a system. By using alfalfa, additional grazing management options are available, including avoiding high-endophyte fescue in hot summer periods thereby gaining an increased ability to sustain production in dry weather.

Fencing and water supply system design becomes particularly important when grazing alfalfa. The "rest" period is more important for alfalfa than for grass forages, and therefore paddock number is more critical. Reducing traffic and "sacrifice" areas becomes more valuable when the forage value is high. Planning the "best", or optimum, fencing strategy should be done with the overall goal in mind of improving profitability. Key factors that describe the optimal system will include the number of paddocks needed, type of fence construction, water supply plan, and overall layout of the system. Although the optimum will be different for each farm, there are some general principles that apply to all farms.

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Feb 29th, 10:30 AM

Fencing and Watering Systems for Grazing Alfalfa

Controlled or rotational grazing can result in better utilization of the forage resources on your farm. By better forage management through controlled grazing, you can increase profitability of cattle/forage systems. To effectively develop a controlled grazing system, however, fencing must be used to subdivide the pasture into sub-fields or paddocks. The animals may then be rotated among the paddocks to optimize forage and beef or dairy production from the system. Alfalfa grazing can play an important part in such a system. By using alfalfa, additional grazing management options are available, including avoiding high-endophyte fescue in hot summer periods thereby gaining an increased ability to sustain production in dry weather.

Fencing and water supply system design becomes particularly important when grazing alfalfa. The "rest" period is more important for alfalfa than for grass forages, and therefore paddock number is more critical. Reducing traffic and "sacrifice" areas becomes more valuable when the forage value is high. Planning the "best", or optimum, fencing strategy should be done with the overall goal in mind of improving profitability. Key factors that describe the optimal system will include the number of paddocks needed, type of fence construction, water supply plan, and overall layout of the system. Although the optimum will be different for each farm, there are some general principles that apply to all farms.