Editor’s note: Relevant and up-to-date information that had been available on Foragebeef.ca is gradually being added to BeefResearch.ca. (More information). The new Rejuvenation of Hay and Pasture page, which is previewed below, is one example. Further webpages will be added or updated on BeefResearch.ca to include the valuable content from Foragebeef.ca, ensuring that information remains freely available online. Completion is expected by Spring 2020.
Rejuvenation of a forage stand, whether hay or pasture, involves using one or a combination of methods to increase productivity with a shift towards higher yielding forage species that provide improved nutritive value for livestock.
The first step in deciding whether to rejuvenate a forage stand is comparing the potential productivity with the current status of the pasture or hayfield. This will help determine if, and what, improvements or management changes are needed.
A stand assessment starts with evaluation of the current plant population. What desirable plant species are present as compared to undesirable plants? Are there invasive species? Poisonous plants? Are there large areas of bare ground and evidence of erosion? Conducting a pasture or range health assessment is an important first step to identify best options for rejuvenation.
In the previous episode of the Beef Research School, Dr. Paul Jefferson explained how to maximize your forage acres, including when to rejuvenate and when to reseed. In this episode, we take a closer look at rejuvenation methods.
Dr. Bart Lardner with the Western Beef Development Centre discusses why producers should consider fertilizing hay and pasture land. In addition to chemical fertilizer or composted manure, in-field winter feeding systems are another strategy to consider. Continue reading
Cattle manure is a valuable resource in agriculture when utilized properly. On an annual basis, approximately 3.4 million hectares of land in Canada receives animal manure as an amendment to improve soil fertility and quality for crop growth. Manure from cattle contains macronutrients and micronutrients that plants need. It also has considerable amounts of organic matter that can improve soil tilth. Land application of cattle manure is an effective way of recycling nutrients. As such, cattle manure that is hauled out and applied to farm fields or deposited directly by grazing or overwintered cattle reduces reliance on commercial fertilizers and helps to sustain land productivity.
The latest video in the Beef Research School series features Dr. Jeff Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan researcher and professor of soil science. Continue reading