Madison County Soil Conservation District 

Serving to Conserve Madison County's Soil & Related Natural Resources Since 1941


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Prescribed Grazing


 

 

Prescribed Grazing by definition is the managing of pastures by grazing animals using a control harvest. This usually involves dividing your pasture into multiple units of relatively equal size by installing cross fencing. Each individual unit is called a paddock and will need to have access to sufficient water; frost free automatic watering tanks work well. The herd is then rotated systematically from paddock to paddock throughout the growing season before the herd is allowed to overgraze and damage the forage stand.

 PURPOSES

Improve or maintain the health and vigor of plant communities.

Improve or maintain quantity and quality of forage for livestock health and productivity.

Improve or maintain water quality and quantity.

Reduce accelerated soil erosion and maintain or improve soil condition.

Improve or maintain the quantity and quality of food and/or cover available for wildlife.

Promote economic stability through grazing land sustainability.

Options to protect forage heights include, but are not limited to:

Feeding hay or other supplemental feed.

Reducing the number of animals "destocking."

Leasing additional pasture, fertilizing when moisture is available or seeding annuals, etc.

"Maintaining Proper Forage Height is of Utmost Importance" Forage Species4

Height to Begin Grazing2

Height to Terminate Grazing (Residual Ht.) 3

Recovery Time

(Days)

Tall Fescue

Timothy

Annual Ryegrass

Crabgrass

Old World Bluestem

5-8"

(2) 3"

14-45

Tall Fescue (Endophyte Free)

Orchardgrass

Sericea Lespedeza

5-8"

(3) 4"

14-45

Wheat

Rye

Oats

5-8"

(3) 4"

14-45

Alfalfa

12-15"

2"

24-32

Pearl Millet

12"

4-8"

14-30

Sorghum X

Sudangrass Hybrids

18"

4-8"

14-30

Johsongrass

Native Warm Season

Grasses (NWSG)

12-18"

6-8"

30-50

Common Bermudagrass

Hybrid Bermudagrass

4-8"

5-8"

2"

3"

14-45

 

NRCS, TN
May 2003

 

                        


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