Friday, April 15, 2011

A tale of two pastures

This photo that I took from along my driveway yesterday shows the difference that the stocking rate can make on a pasture. Readers of the Stockman Grass Farmer are familiar with management intensive grazing and the benefits it has on pasture grasses. 

In this case, I'm not exactly sure why the pasture at right is so much denser and healthier than the pasture on the left. The pasture on the right was grazed from late fall until April 11. This area of the pasture is also where the goats bedded down at night, did a lot of pooping and peeing and a lot of tromping down the grass. 

The pasture on the left had a low stocking rate all last year; if the stocking rate is high enough, the sage brush is nibbled down before it gets to the dry brush stage. Interestingly, the pasture on the left has had 2 tons per acre of lime applied in recent years; the pasture at right had none.

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