Why Grazing Before Pastures are Ready Can Have Lasting Impacts and How to Limit the Damage

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Jack Arterburn, Nebraska Extension Educator, Beef Systems

Key Points

  • Winter precipitation was not enough to overcome the soil moisture deficit from three years of below normal precipitation for much of Nebraska.
  • Grazing pastures early causes the plant to use nutrients stored in the roots to regrow which can cause a reduction of future growth.
  • If delaying grazing is unavoidable, minimize impacts by moving through multiple pastures quickly.

Although near record snowfall this winter brought many challenges in areas of Nebraska, the moisture the snow provided was welcomed after three years of below normal precipitation. However, soil moisture is still below average and drought conditions are persisting in many areas of the state…

Continue reading at: https://beef.unl.edu/beefwatch/2023/why-grazing-pastures-are-ready-can-have-lasting-impacts-and-how-limit-damage

Additional Resources:

USDA Drought Assistance Programs in 2023 (May 4, 2023 Webinar) Patrick Lechner, Ben Herink, Brad Lubben, Shannon Sand

  • USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices across the state are already busy working with farmers and ranchers who are experiencing the ongoing impacts of drought on their operations. This webinar will remind producers what information is needed to apply for key drought assistance programs. It will discuss drought disaster designations, the FSA emergency loan program, and management principles and recordkeeping needs for producers under drought conditions.
  • https://cap.unl.edu/policy-legal/usda-drought-assistance-programs-2023-may-4-2023-webinar

Rangeland Response and Management Following Drought (April 20, 2023 Webinar) by Mitch Stephenson, Extension Range Management Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

  • In 2022, 85% of Nebraska was categorized as being in severe to exceptional drought. While we do not know yet how precipitation will play out this year, thinking through range and pasture management during and in the years following drought provides opportunities to limit the negative effects of drought on sustainable range livestock production.