Fertilizing pastures and hay: Beef Research School episode

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

New sainfoin for safer alfalfa grazing



This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Soil is like a bank account. If the nutrient withdrawals are always larger and more frequent than the deposits, the land bank will eventually go broke.

Plants use nutrients from the soil (and carbon dioxide from the air) to grow roots, stems and leaves. Some plant nutrients get returned to the soil through decomposition, manure and urine, but a lot of them don’t. Cows use the nutrients to produce milk and rebreed, and calves turn the nutrients into weaning weight. Over time, a lot of soil nutrients leave the pasture and go through the auction ring at fall feeder sales. If nutrients aren’t returned to the pasture through fertilizer, pasture productivity will eventually drop, and more forage acres are needed to raise the same number of cattle.

Alfalfa and other legumes help restore soil nitrogen, increase forage yields and extend pasture carrying capacity. The risk of bloat when grazing pure alfalfa stands can be reduced through Continue reading