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KayDee Gilkey What to Consider in Forage Management
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: May 17, 2017

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Paying attention to your forage management is critical. There are two factors to consider: forage quality and forage quantity — the combination of the two determines whether a cow has enough nutrients to meet her needs. Both aspects must be examined when deciding if additional pasture and or supplement feed is needed.

Performix Nutrition Systems Animal Nutritional Consultant Dr. Boone Carter says that sometimes ranchers need to consider some additional forage expenses in hopefully the short-term to save the long-term condition of their pastures.

Carter: “If your problem is forage quantity than really the answer has to be additional forage. Whether that means reducing the stocking rate of the existing pastures that you have or finding forage or hay to supplement the cows with. The problem is the rancher buys the ranch because of the forage production — that is the resource that comes with the ranch. And so when you have to decrease stocking or buy outside feed — than that is an outside expense — that has a huge economic impact on ranchers. But I think the data would show that ranchers that are proactive and take those management steps before they see the loss of the forage base and those plant species that are so important — they are the successful ones in the long run.”

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