Dormant Season Grazing

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jpierce512

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I've been reading these boards for some time, and I am constantly impressed by the amount of great information here. I have a question about the effects of grazing dormant grass.

Am I doing any damage to my grass if I let the cows graze it down during the winter months. I have been overseeding clover and alfalfa in the spring and I have been letting the cows get the residual grass to hopefully allow for better seed to soil contact. I have always been under the impression that as long as the grass is dormant it really doesn't matter. Now I am seeing some things to make me believe it does have an effect.

Does the benefit from overseeding outweigh the harm I am doing to the grasses?

Thanks.
 

alabama

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I don't know where you live but in Alabama I think it is good for the grass to graze or clip it short in time for spring green up. I overseed in the fall so I always try to graze of clip mine short in the fall to let the overseed come up.
 

SCRUBS620

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I have wondered the same thing. I dont know where the original poster lives but I live in Indiana. Does it hurt the grass when its clipped that short and it freezes and thaws all winter long? Someone told me that it is better to let a hay field have 6 or 8 inches of growth going into winter - kind of like a coat to keep it warm. I could see where it might slow down the freezing and thawing that we get.
 

dun

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The things that first come to mind are: How short is short, what kind of grass, what kind of soil and what kind of weather.
That's the reason it's hard to make general answers that are accurate. Some oils heave more then others, a lot of that depends on the weather factor. Some grasses grazed too short can have the growing points damaged. Most grasses if not damaged from grazing/heaving/wheather, will grow better the next year if grazed short in the winter.
 
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jpierce512

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Sorry I'm in Northeast Oklahoma and the grass is predominatly tall grass native pasture (Bluestem, Brome, etc) with some common Bermuda patches.

I will try and figure out how to get my location on my profile. Thanks for the replies.
 

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