Warm temperatures during February melted the ice and snow, giving us a peek at the ground in our pasture fields. Is it my imagination or is that grass starting to green up already?
Soon spring will be here to stay, and farmers will be turning livestock out to graze. Here are a few tips to help get your grazing season off to a great start:
Wait: Delay grazing until the soil has dried out enough to support the weight of the animal without allowing soil compaction to occur.
Soil amendments: Take a soil test every three years to monitor pH and nutrient status, and apply lime, woodash, potassium according to test results
Treat pasture like a crop: Subdivide pastures and rotate animals to a new paddock at least twice per week, allowing grazed areas to recover and re-grow to 6-8” tall before grazing them again.
We are holding a grazing class here in Cheshire County! Come and learn all about grazing management, and develop an individualized grazing plan for your farm! The course will be three days: April 11 & 12, and May 9. The intended audience is farmers who have grazing livestock and want to do a better job managing the pasture as a feed source. The course will also help you to obtain a grazing plan, which is a prerequisite for applying for financial assistance for some projects under the EQIP Program. For more information and to register: https://tinyurl.com/y8b4494f
Or contact: Heidi Konesko, USDA-NRCS 603-756-2988 x117 Heidi.Konesko@nh.usda.gov
USDA-NRCS Soil Conservationist