Cow-calf producers in Western Canada have widely adopted extended fall and/winter grazing practices using both annual and perennial forages. However, competition with high value annual crops has resulted in higher land prices and decreased land base for forage production in many beef producing areas. Therefore, having expertise in integration of land, plant and animal management is critical to increasing the productivity of both the forage land base and cow herd.
Work funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster is supporting the establishment of a permanent Western Canada Forage Industry Chair at the University of Manitoba. The project will also provide leadership and technology transfer for Continue reading
Rejuvenating or reestablishing your summer pastures can allow you to graze more cows per acre for more days of the year. If you’re worried you’ve got too many cows on your pastures, are reluctant to rent or buy more acres or even tempted to sell some pasture land because of high land prices, consider how to get better forage production out of the acres you’ve got.
In the latest Beef Research School video, Dr. Paul Jefferson of the Western Beef Development Centre explains that adding alfalfa, fertilizing forages and rotational grazing will boost production. He also describes when it’s time to reseed a pasture, and gives tips on the best time to establish new forages.
Also beware that grazing forages too early in the spring, before plants have reached the 3 or 3 ½ leaf stage, will reduce yields and shorten your grazing season.