Extending the grazing season

We recommend two ways to extend the grazing season:

(1) Using no-till seeding, plant some paddocks with cover crops that will start growing prior to the perennial grasses, and continue growing into the fall.

(2) “Stockpile” grass, which in New England means designating some paddocks that are not grazed or cut after July, so that they can be grazed in December, January and February. The cattle will graze this stockpiled material readily, even if it is covered with snow, and the nutrition will be equal to or better than hay or baleage. Any day that the cattle can graze rather than eat hay is money in the producer’s pocket. See our report on our winter grazing trial in Massachusetts, funded by a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grant.

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