Dale Watson
Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri Extension




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Please send your comments and sund suggestions to Dale Watson, Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, 111 N. Mason, Carrollton, MO 64633, call 660-542-1792, or send messages by e-mail to: watsond@missouri.edu.
For the Week of
September 23, 1999

Short Pastures Spell Long Feeding Period

The summer of 1999 has left its mark on many pastures throughout the Midwest. The lack of rainfall has drastically reduced the growth potential for all grazing. However, livestock must have something to eat and continue to graze any vegetation that tries to produce a spear of growth.

Regardless of the specie of forage and the fertility level, water is a must for plant growth. The growing degree-days are getting very short for any forage production this fall. Meadows that were harvested earlier in the year have not been able to provide much regrowth for fall grazing. This has added additional problems for the beef producer who is trying to manage their 1999/00 winter feed supply.

According to Jim Jarman, Agronomy Specialist, University of Missouri, applying 20 to 40 pounds of a non-volatile source of Nitrogen throughout late September provides cool season grasses with the nutritional opportunity for reestablishment this fall. Even though we are still experiencing extremely dry conditions this is an excellent time to collect a soil sample for the spring of 2000.   Using a shovel and collecting the sample next to a crack in the ground or using an auger is the best method under the present conditions, according to Jarman.

If we continue under the dry conditions into the winter, we need to think of jump starting the grass next spring. Utilizing the soil test information for the lime and fertilizer application and frost seeding 5 pounds of Red Clover in the late winter or early spring is an excellent method to promote the grazing potential for the 2000 grazing season according to Jarman. He further states that getting the spring growth off to a quick start will also reduce the potential for weed intrusion. "This is very important when we have experienced an extended drought as in the summer of 1999."

Utilizing the soil test information and making the recommended applications provides the opportunity for the needed forage production in 2000 to assist with restoring the depleted forage supply from the winter of 1999/00.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - September 23, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT092399.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004