Summer pasture grazing | Living the Country Life

Summer pasture grazing

If your pasture starts to look a little bare by mid-summer, it's time to re-think how you're grazing the animals.

Rotate your livestock

We graze our sheep in the pasture from May until November. We have four paddocks on 30 acres, and move the herd from one to the other as they eat the grass. Hot, dry weather can take its toll on pasture growth.

Bob Gillen heads up the Western Ag Research Center at Kansas State University. He says a big mistake small acreage owners often make is grazing too many animals on too few acres.

"They may have to realize that they can't leave the animals on the pasture all the time. They're going to have to keep them in a barn lot or smaller corral, and then just let them go out onto the pasture for a much more restricted period of time," he says. "Using some kind of a rotation grazing system is also valuable, where they would split up the land into paddocks and then move the animals among those paddocks."

For example, the owner could split his animals among several smaller pastures, or paddocks and move all of the animals every week or so.

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