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Fall Pasture Maintenance

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Date: October 20, 2020
Subject: Fall Pasture Maintenance
Agent: Damon Pollard

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center. Today’s topic is on Fall Pasture Maintenance.

September and October are good times to accomplish fall pasture maintenance. Will fall arriving, now is the time to apply lime and fertilizer to pastures and hayfields planted in cool season grasses.Cool season grasses make their peak growth in the cooler weather of spring and fall and any fertilizer applied in the spring is long gone. Additional nitrogen now will increase the growth for fall grazing. If
you have fields planted in summer annuals like sudex or pearl millet, they can be overseeded with winter annuals as well to provide winter grazing. For cattle and small ruminants you can utilize oats, wheat, rye or rye grass. Rye is the highest yielding choice. For horses, the best choices are oats and rye grass. Oats will produce heavy spring yields and horses love them. Rye grass is a good choice for
both spring and fall grazing as it will produce more fall forage and a heavier spring yield than any other winter annual suitable for horses. If managed properly, it will provide grazing throughout the winter, cutting down on the grain requirement. The most expensive forage for livestock is hay. By investing in fertilizer and seed now, you can reduce hay needs for this winter.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service – Burke Center. If you would like more information, please give us a call at 439-4460.