In a pasture predomintely made up of tall fescue, 35% legumes have shown to be an effective way to minimize fescue toxicosis in cattle.
FORAGE DIVERSITY IS KEY! By increasing your pasture species from 2-5 you can increase your forage biomass by over 30%. If utilizing a rotation of summer and winter annuals, you will see an increase even more dramatic than that.
Cattle eat the nutrients then poop them back out on the grass, so why are you applying fertilizer? Sure, nitrogen can give your grass a boost but is it worth the expense? Fertilizer is for hay fields, not pastures.
Weight gain, milk production and fertility in cattle are all heavily influenced by the availability of shade. Shade trees located sparsely across your pastures will allow cattle to graze in and out of shade throughtout the heat of the day.
Cattle health begins and ends with 4 things:
- Fresh Water – Water from ponds is great as long as they aren’t in the water
- Appropriate Mineral – beware of some of the commercial mineral.
- Fresh Forage – Rested forage is good forage and keeps cattle happy.
- Minimal Stress – Working and transporting stresses cattle so keep it to a minimum and treat them well. If you don’t treat them like they make you money, they won’t.
De-wormer isn’t necessary with proper rotation from paddock to paddock. It kills the soil biology and it’s the biology which feeds nutrients to your pasture.
If you run an inclusive cattle herd with low stress you may be wasting your money using vaccinations.
Remember this – Everyone wants your money. Some will offer you a bad product and even worse advice just to get in your wallet. In many cases there will not be a benefit to spending more money. The more you spend the more you’ll stress. Margins are tight in today’s agriculture so it’s a good idea to open your mind and look for more efficient ways to operate. Look for ways to be more productive while spending less time and money.