Grass height for grazing

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ClinchValley

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Cut pastures up pretty good over the last two months. Left the option of cutting them in half again w temp fence if the grass will agree. Hoping i can get a move every 2-3 days as it is fenced right now. Made one pass through, then pulled the cattle cause it kept getting cold and grass wasn't growing anymore.

I'm curious, as everyone around me continuously grazes, how tall/mature do y'all like the grass to be when you let cattle in? It has really started growing the last 10-15 days.

I have the cattle on a sacrifice area eating hay. I'm sure they want on pasture. Hell, I want them on pasture. Might get them started end of this week. Curious how other's like to do it?
 

ddd75

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i have mine on some pastures now because they are calving.

i won't turn them out into the fields until its knee high.
 

snoopdog

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It's a juggle , a lot of bigger cattle on smaller area I like it to be pretty tall, especially the cool season grass .
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Around here, grass grows super fast in the spring. I turn out when it is only about 6" high. Let them glean it for a day, and go to next paddock. I have about 12 full paddocks that get divided later. If each one only lasts 1 day 1st time around, the first one has rested/grown for 12 days. Then it will take at least 2 days to get thru a paddock.
If I don't start right away, they will definitely get ahead of me and get too mature. As it is, I generally have to mow a few paddocks for hay.
I turned out all groups of cows today. Yippee!!!!
 

Stocker Steve

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Depends on stocking rate and fertility and weather and type of grass... I like 8 to 10 inches but I stock heavy. A key is to move them fast like Jeanne says to get thru all the paddocks.

If you start too soon, and get ahead of the grass, you can always lock them back up for a couple days, as long as you have good fencing...
 
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ClinchValley

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I like the sound of that Jeanne.

Fertility is so so, but is improving over time.

We have about 30 acres in hay, and 25-30 in pasture. Running 20 pairs and 8 yearlings. Hoping this tighter rotation will convince me to graze hay ground in the future, and do as Jeanne suggested and hay what gets ahead of us. I think it could be the way to go. Just hate to make the jump blindly.

Thanks y'all.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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Everyone makes a big deal out of rotational grazing - measure this, measure that.
I move the cattle when the field changes from that nice deep green to a pale green. To me, that means it's short enough. Let it rest, go to the next one. Early spring, it does not need to rest very long, but later it should rest maybe 30 days. Don't really measure or time anything, just use my eyes. As mentioned above, I start out maybe 1 day at a time in the paddocks, but when it gets growing good, I may split a field 3 times, trying to give them about 2-5 days per paddock. It's not rocket science, but you will get a "feel" for what they need. We do mow weeds and reject grass a couple of times thru the summer.
I know some people use "mob" grazing - that has not been anything I have been interested in.
 

snoopdog

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Turned this years calf crop in on this 3 acre patch Friday , after weaning . Was hoping to cut for hay sooner , but weather and circumstances prevented. Stem height is decieving , and we'll clip the tops when the seed heads mature to prevent eye trouble , but the clover and undergrowth is deep . Should hold them (14) for awhile , we will be able to cut for hay later .
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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FYI - for rotational grazing, it is important to NOT let them graze on the same spot for more than 7 days. After 7 days, they will keep going back to the "good tasting" grass & graze it too short while letting the grass they were rejecting keep getting older/more mature. that is why it is so important to train your eye to figure out how much to give them to last 2-5 days. If you are really, really into intensive rotational grazing, you will rotate every day. I only do that the first 7 days of grazing in the spring. My fields are lasting 1.5 to 2 days now. The taller the grass, the more important it is to just give them a small amount - unless all your fields are getting ahead of you, then you might want to just let them "glean" what they really want, move them to the next and mow behind them.
 

kenny thomas

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The way the grass is growing now if it's not ahead of the cows you will for sure run out this summer. Get them on green stuff. Time to roll hay not be feeding it.
 

Allenw

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snoopdog that's disgusting, cows are standing here waiting for the grass to grow enough to get a bite.
 

snoopdog

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Jeanne - Simme Valley":fhx37k0z said:
Snoopdog - you are waaayyyy ahead of us. Wow, that's a lot of grass.
Jeanne , I assure you the pasture doesn't look like that , it's just now taking off. I think though that we will come out ahead on this patch by letting the calves have it, lots of clover and winter wheat that is gonna be too mature by the time the next cutting window comes around , but nutritious right now , and we just didn't have any other choice . I had planned to cut it and leave a good crown, and then turn them in, but we have to adapt , sometimes on the fly.
 
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ClinchValley

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Kenny Thomas - Y'all had any weather for haying yet? Saw a few cut thin stuff on Wednesday here. Other than that everyone is chomping at the bit, myself included.

I've learned something already...
I let them on it at the right time i'm pretty sure. Then thought too much, and gave the grasses a bit much of a head start. Turned into a bunch of stems real fast. Topped that off, now we're in business. Really didn't like how the cattle looked before i mowed. Looks to be a ton of clover and some warm seasons coming in where i've mowed the grasses down. Glad i went ahead and clipped it. Had some weeds popping up too, and I'm scared to spray for a while. Burnt the good stuff up last year...

Gave them a go on about an acre with a lot of Johnson grass day before yesterday. They have killed it. Wish i had more i could pasture.

Middle of this week i will get them started where I mowed. I am "thinking" the way I have it cut up they will need to be moved every 2 to 4 days depending on the spot. Should work out real good. Fingers crossed.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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It is always a fine line "WHEN" to start. But, I have found, I am never too early. Just keep moving them in the beginning, even if you have to move them morning & night (12 hours) the first couple of days. But, you did good. Mow if it gets ahead of you. It's a challenge, but very rewarding.
 

ddd75

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i cut 20 acres yeterday but then they changed the forecast for saturday to 80%. so we'll see about that. Looks like possibly sunday I can cut a bunch more.

Most of it was as tall as my hood on my 5065
 

kenny thomas

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With the tropical storm coming I was afraid to cut. We had rain Wednesday and giving showers later today.
Rotate them every day if you need to. The grass will get ahead of them soon. Mine went from feeding hay to getting way ahead it seemed in a week.
 

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