With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be an option depending on your weed pressure. Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email. On my farm, common orchardgrass typically starts heading out in late April and it was two weeks later this year. If you can evaluate the needs such as seed head removal and weed control, maybe we can better time our pasture mowings. Get An Overview of Pasture Vegetation 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. 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. When pasture is managed correctly, it is one of the most profitable crops on the farm. – It is at that point of transition that it is a great time to mow pastures. Get off that section after it’s grazed down. By this time of year, most have made the decision on whether to clip pastures or not. It is at that point of transition when it is a great time to mow pastures. However, now may be a great time to mow pastures. Spam protection has stopped this request. 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. Removing the stem and seed head will even stimulate new growth. A publication of the Ohio State University Extension Beef Team. If your pasture falls into this category, Luginbuhl advocates providing a mineral mix containing 5 to 10 percent magnesium. The net movement of energy is up. So, treat your grasses right when getting pastures ready for spring grazing. If you can evaluate the needs such as seed head removal and weed control, maybe we can better time our pasture mowings. 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. 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 … Add to Favorites . 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. Spam protection has stopped this request. Broadcast from now to Christmas if you need that long. 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. Neither text, nor links to other websites, is reviewed or endorsed by The Ohio State University. When grass starts growing in the spring, its main objective is to reproduce, resulting in a seed head. Perhaps you are struggling with your pastures or just moved to a new property and have found that the land is fairly unproductive. Now that we have addressed the needs of the grasses, how about our other problem with pastures: weeds. You really need to develop a step by step plan that addresses the challenges and management requirements of a new pasture. 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. Read more about pasture improvement in Get Pastures Off to a Good Start for Adequate Feed All Year. Prevent seed production to prevent spread. Our perennial grasses go through two stages during the growing season: the reproductive stage and the vegetative stage. The content of this site contains information pertaining to The Ohio State University. no cross fencing or rotation. 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. The third reason to clip or mow is help control pink eye in cattle. Bottom line: Don't keep cattle on the same patch of pasture for more than a few days. In addition, cutting height can influence what type of grass will grow. 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. Spring pasture management is the key to grazing season success long term. 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. 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. Cattle feed is expensive today and not just corn and other grains. Respective University constituents are responsible for reviewing and maintaining up to date information. Keep pasture full and competitive. And we prefer to just mow once at the end of the season, since we multispecies graze sheep, cattle and goats. Ideally, you want your legumes at 3-4 inches at first and then give them a few weeks to get established. Our perennial grasses go through two stages during the growing season: the reproductive stage and then the vegetative stage. 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. Those acres have to work as hard at growing grass as they would growing anything else. This will allow the plants to store energy in the roots or base as the leaves grow. 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. This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Broadcast before you move onto a section of the pasture. 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 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. It Depends. Yes, will work great if you can tighten the cattle down with polywire and graze the grass down hard. Removing the stem and seed head will even stimulate new growth. It is important to determine the reason behind the need for reseeding. For example, if perennial weeds caused a significant reduction in the stand then the weeds must be controlled before reseeding. 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. Sadly, pastures are often neglected, … you guys have been great answering questions about my horse pasture in Twisp. – Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Morgan County (originally published in the Ohio Farmer on-line). This will allow the plants to store energy in the roots or base as the leaves grow. That rarely provides excellent results. 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. Pastures were very slow growing this spring until it finally warmed up in early May. We have research plots at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station near Caldwell, Ohio, that are mowed at different times. Tips for Improving Out-of-season Reproduction. In other words, pastures, too, must be stretched to the max. 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. If we mow or graze too close, we may eventually kill off that plant and possibly favor growth of fescue, bluegrass and 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. You can also spot weed with an herbicide spray that is appropriate for your area, existing vegetation, and animal use. Finally, mowing helps you to get that overview of what kind of vegetation you have in your pasture. However, pasture is often not well managed and its productivity is low and animal productivity off the pasture does not meet its potential. 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. Always read and carefully follow label instructions on any chemical additive. ‐ 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). 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. If perennial weeds are a problem, consider mowing them just before their seed heads become viable. Please contact site owner for help. Keep in mind – You shouldn’t mow your pastures through the summer more than three or four times. At that point, the plant wants to store enough energy in the roots or base of the plant to survive through the winter. 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. You do need to be carefull on how to mow pasture. 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. 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. It’s a sad sight to see cattle, horses and other livestock grazing in a dry, dead-looking pasture. If we mow or graze too close, we may eventually kill off that plant and possibly favor growth of fescue, bluegrass, and weeds. I would have a hard time justifying clipping for this reason unless you have an active pink eye problem. In addition, cutting height can influence what type of grass will grow. 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. Once the plant has set a seed head, the quality of the grass, especially the stem and seed head is low. Cattle are HARD on grasses…especially new sprigs of baby grass seedlings. At that point, the plant wants to store enough energy in the roots or base of the plant to survive through the winter. On my farm, common orchardgrass typically starts heading out in late April, and it was two weeks later this year. The cattle in what Stam calls Pasture X seem to be thriving. For example, orchardgrass stores its energy in the base of the plant above ground. 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. Published on Jun 9, 2017. Biennials (Common burdock, bull and musk thistle, poison hemlock) Mow after plants have bolted but before seed set to prevent seed production. Mow after bolting to prevent seed production. Wheat planting is now on the mind for many growers and for some farmers and ranchers, that also leads to cattle on wheat pasture. The net movement of energy is up. Dragging pastures can also be a tool to help control parasites and pests, Williamson says. 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. 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. Finally, it is critical to give the plants a chance to rest after being mowed or grazed. Pastures were very slow growing this spring until it finally warmed up in early May. Mowing the pasture with your rotary cutter twice a year will promote grass growth and help keep weeds down. 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. 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. What time of year do you top pasture? 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. Should We Mow/Clip Pastures? 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. Maybe 30 lbs./A. Apply an effective herbicide in early summer. Finally, it is critical to give the plants a chance to rest after being mowed or grazed. 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? A productive pasture is contingent upon a good plan, careful management, and clear goals. Reseeding can be necessary to increase nutritional value, eradicate weeds, fill in bare spots, and improve the stand after disease problems or poor management. 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. 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. We have research plots at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station near Caldwell that are mowed at different times. 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. 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. We need to keep in mind the three big grazing principles to make pasture management successful: avoiding seed heads, residual management, and rest periods. 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. 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. Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator ANR, Morgan County With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be an option depending on your weed pressure. 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. For example, orchardgrass stores its energy in the base of the plant above ground. how often to mow horse pasture. Take a typical Iowa-Missouri improved pasture that is roughly 70% tall fescue (a cool-season grass) and 30% red clover (a legume). 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. ‐ Limit‐graze winter pastures and standing hay as needed (one hour per day is adequate to meet the animals protein requirements). If perennial weeds are a problem, consider mowing them just before their seed heads become viable. However, now may be a great time to mow pastures. 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. By mid-February in your country, you’ll have excellent grazing! Forages should not be mowed between certain dates in the fall before dormancy as well depending on you growing zone. With the late start of the season we have had this year, this strategy may be … We need to keep in mind the three big grazing principles to make pasture management successful; avoiding seed heads, residual management and rest periods. warm or cool season grasses. Everything the animal eats will impact the flavor of the meat. If you have trouble accessing this page and need to request an alternate format, contact u@osu.edu. In this post, I will be covering: Types of cool season grasses in pastures that work well for grazing. 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. 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. When grass starts growing in the spring, its’ main objective is to reproduce, resulting in a seed head. Once the plant has set a seed head, the quality of the grass, especially the stem and seed head, is low. 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.. Here is another one: I have 5 irrigated acres and am grazing 3 horses. Thank you, your email will be added to the mailing list once you click on the link in the confirmation email. 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.