Emergency Grazing Help

Discuss grasses and how to grow and harvest them.
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ClinchValley86
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Emergency Grazing Help

Post by ClinchValley86 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:54 am

I know i'm not alone here. Grazing is all but finished until we get some substantial rain. I'm going to start feeding hay tomorrow or Thursday. Have been able to avoid grazing anything down to the ground. Stockpiled cool seasons are a pipe dream at this point. Hopefully i've found a month's worth, maybe two, of hay at a decent price.

That said, i am wanting to throw some annuals on/in hay ground to graze this winter. Have about a 4 to 6 inch residual of burnt up warm seasons with some fescue, OG, and red clover. Just isn't going to be enough perennial growth to get us through. I've been thinking strongly about a mix of wheat, rye or ryegrass, and oats. Maybe a legume of some type, crimson clover or a cow pea?

This is something i am 100 percent inexperienced with. I could rent a drill, or i could disk lightly, broadcast, and drag/let cattle tramp it in. Being that it is October 1st, what would you do? Temps are supposed to drop into the 70's next week, with night time temps in the 40's. Don't want to break the bank. But have to do something. Maybe buying hay is the better move?

We aren't dedicating these two fields for hay next year, if that matters.

The ground is very hard right now. Have been using a hammer on my temporary post. Not sure if that matters either.

Thanks in advance.



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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by Bigfoot » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:12 am

Your in East Tn, I'm in west Ky. Here, we don't get much out of a winter pasture. I sometimes do it. I am doing one this year. Probably going to be bin run wheat at 120 pounds to the acre. I'm waitig a week. I normally just broadcast mine, the day before a drenching rain. Always comes up. I'm drilling this year, and have reservations if the drill will even penetrate the ground. Good luck, if you do it. I choose bin run wheat, because of the cost.
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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by sstterry » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:15 am

ClinchValley86 wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:54 am
I know i'm not alone here. Grazing is all but finished until we get some substantial rain. I'm going to start feeding hay tomorrow or Thursday. Have been able to avoid grazing anything down to the ground. Stockpiled cool seasons are a pipe dream at this point. Hopefully i've found a month's worth, maybe two, of hay at a decent price.

That said, i am wanting to throw some annuals on/in hay ground to graze this winter. Have about a 4 to 6 inch residual of burnt up warm seasons with some fescue, OG, and red clover. Just isn't going to be enough perennial growth to get us through. I've been thinking strongly about a mix of wheat, rye or ryegrass, and oats. Maybe a legume of some type, crimson clover or a cow pea?

This is something i am 100 percent inexperienced with. I could rent a drill, or i could disk lightly, broadcast, and drag/let cattle tramp it in. Being that it is October 1st, what would you do? Temps are supposed to drop into the 70's next week, with night time temps in the 40's. Don't want to break the bank. But have to do something. Maybe buying hay is the better move?

We aren't dedicating these two fields for hay next year, if that matters.

The ground is very hard right now. Have been using a hammer on my temporary post. Not sure if that matters either.

Thanks in advance.
I started hay last week! No significant rain in the forecast either!

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by kentuckyguy » Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:30 am

Wheat would probably be your best option. I say that because even if it doesn’t have great growth this fall you should have some ready for grazing around a month earlier than other grasses in the spring.

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by JParrott » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:05 pm

If it was me - I'd buy hay if I wasn't going to semi-seriously dedicate the ground to a hay crop.

Might be worth your time to adjust your head count to stretch out the hay you've bought and recoup cost.

Almanac says your winter is supposed to be wet for what its worth. Wheat might not be a bad idea.

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by Caustic Burno » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:19 pm

ClinchValley86 wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:54 am
I know i'm not alone here. Grazing is all but finished until we get some substantial rain. I'm going to start feeding hay tomorrow or Thursday. Have been able to avoid grazing anything down to the ground. Stockpiled cool seasons are a pipe dream at this point. Hopefully i've found a month's worth, maybe two, of hay at a decent price.

That said, i am wanting to throw some annuals on/in hay ground to graze this winter. Have about a 4 to 6 inch residual of burnt up warm seasons with some fescue, OG, and red clover. Just isn't going to be enough perennial growth to get us through. I've been thinking strongly about a mix of wheat, rye or ryegrass, and oats. Maybe a legume of some type, crimson clover or a cow pea?

This is something i am 100 percent inexperienced with. I could rent a drill, or i could disk lightly, broadcast, and drag/let cattle tramp it in. Being that it is October 1st, what would you do? Temps are supposed to drop into the 70's next week, with night time temps in the 40's. Don't want to break the bank. But have to do something. Maybe buying hay is the better move?

We aren't dedicating these two fields for hay next year, if that matters.

The ground is very hard right now. Have been using a hammer on my temporary post. Not sure if that matters either.

Thanks in advance.

Sell the cows and save the pasture!
You can buy more cows tomorrow takes years to rebuild the pastures. Saw a many a man loose it all in 2011 trying to feed through a drought. It just doesn’t pencil out. I sold 70% of mine in 2011 to save the pastures.
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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by Brute 23 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:34 pm

I'm not a fan of trying to plant a winter pasture coming out of a drought. It's just compounding the problem IMO. I would run a budget of what you can or are willing to spend on guaranteed feed (hay, ground feed, etc). I would also make a "hit list" of cattle from first to sell to last to sell.

I have to agree with CB. After doing these droughts a few times dont take a chance trying to keep the whole heard in tact and exhausting all your feed. Cut it down to a small, solid group you know you can maintain... live to fight another day.
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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:59 pm

I am no where near where you are but we started feeding hay last week. We live in one of the rainiest places in the world, actually, and we do naturally get a bit of a winter pasture. But its also covered in muck and flooding. We stock up on hay heavy. Typically come January people are begging to buy our round bales at a price. I've now realized that if we invest in a ton of hay in the first and second cut, the people that didn't, get desperate and come buy what I have on display for them to see as they drive by. Usually they come in and offer us twice what we paid. So, turns out the hay resale business is a decent one.

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by callmefence » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:13 pm

If your feeding hay, have no ground moisture, no time before any coming rain and frost to grow grass. Oats, wheat etc will give very little until spring due to all the above reasons. Your best option is to sell the cows, and sell your hay to make your profit.
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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by 1982vett » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:20 pm

Doubt you will get much winter grazing but it should help with spring if your pastures are short. Even this far south October planted oats doesn’t give a whole lot of winter grazing.

Have to agree with the cow sellers. Drought or not, if your out of grass now you have to many cows.

I’m still waiting to top off my second inch of rain since the first week of July. If it starts to rain a little I’ll spend a little on fertilizer rather than seed.
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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by ccr » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:45 pm

1982vett wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:20 pm
partial quote:
I’m still waiting to top off my second inch of rain since the first week of July. If it starts to rain a little I’ll spend a little on fertilizer rather than seed.
fertilize coastal or winter grass?
i know as much about this as anything else i don't know much about
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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by BlondeD » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:20 am

....I'm in the same boat here in West Tennessee....bringing in hay and will have it out next week....will budget it out with residual pastures and hope some rains will start by the end of October. With our falls extending longer, I'm holding out on putting any seed....of any kind...out until maybe almost November now. Did a bit of drilling into short sod last fall in late October with only modest results. Probably wasted a lot of seed. Probably fertilizer would have been better for the $$

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by Banjo » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:13 am

Extreme heat and no rain is tough to deal with for the long term, but so is rain every other day. If your not intensively rotating your cattle...you need to be. Be careful with the fertilize...it just makes dry conditions worse. If you have to have rain once a week or even two weeks then your grazing system is too fragile....
As far as selling cattle...we all need to be culling the bottom end of our herds all the time anyway.
In my area, most conventional graziers will start feeding hay here in a month anyway after the first killing frost because about all they are grazing is crabgrass and bermuda grass...which is good stuff but not for winter. If you get a significant rain I would drill in a few acres of Rye and maybe get some late grazing or early spring grazing. Check your clover stand.....frost seed some clover about feb. most of us don't have enough clover IMO.

That's my opinion.....feel free to make it yours.

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by 1982vett » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:31 am

ccr wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:45 pm
1982vett wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:20 pm
partial quote:
I’m still waiting to top off my second inch of rain since the first week of July. If it starts to rain a little I’ll spend a little on fertilizer rather than seed.
fertilize coastal or winter grass?
Target now is winter grasses but those pastures might also be cut for hay so the Bermuda and Klein will also benefit some come spring.
Aug 7, 2019 22:51GMT -5 the illustrious potentate said:
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The right to speak freely is not free of consequences.

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Re: Emergency Grazing Help

Post by shaz » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:42 am

Buying hay is the better move. Annuals are pricey and there's no reason to believe you'll get decent growth.

Sell the calves and the culls and buy your hay before Feb. It could get pricey.
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