Grass Management

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kenny thomas

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Well this blows your theory of hotter and dryer. Barely hotter and you get more rain.
The getting rid of the fescue seed heads is a plus for me and the areas I cut a week ago are already coming back strong. I try to cut it at 10" or so and it still shades the ground. Once the fescue tops die I don't see much shade effects. I don't mean this towards you so don't take it that I am but most of the people I see arguing for leaving them for shade are just too lazy to get out and cut them.
 
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HDRider

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Well this blows your theory of hotter and dryer. Barely hotter and you get more rain.
The getting rid of the fescue seed heads is a plus for me and the areas I cut a week ago are already coming back strong. I try to cut it at 10" or so and it still shades the ground. Once the fescue tops die I don't see much shade effects. I don't mean this towards you so don't take it that I am but most of the people I see arguing for leaving them for shade are just too lazy to get out and cut them.
I admit the real answer does not jump out at me
 

Banjo

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I generally can graze up untill feb. or longer most years. But a few years ago i let about a third of the farm grow up untouched and ungrazed all summer to let it "rest" .
That year i was barely able to get to the first of the year and was pushing to do that .Since then i always clip everything at least a couple of times what i take out of rotation.......probably can't mow it too much as long as you don't mow it too short.
What happens is ......the spots in the pasture that the cattle don't eat because it gets too big stops growing after it heads out.....it gets over rested....mowing it stimulates it to keep growing. Fescue will tend to spread or thicken up if clipped occasionally ....like a lawn.
We used to grow tobacco and we would start the plants in float trays....styrofoam trays on water with soil mix. if you set the plants when they got up to size without clipping them they would really struggle to live because they were so tender...so we learned that if you rigged up a lawn mower or a weed eater and clipped them 2 or 3 times before you set them ....they would really toughen up and they would live a lot better. Same thing happens with the grass I think.
 

shaz

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I generally can graze up untill feb. or longer most years. But a few years ago i let about a third of the farm grow up untouched and ungrazed all summer to let it "rest" .
That year i was barely able to get to the first of the year and was pushing to do that .Since then i always clip everything at least a couple of times what i take out of rotation.......probably can't mow it too much as long as you don't mow it too short.
What happens is ......the spots in the pasture that the cattle don't eat because it gets too big stops growing after it heads out.....it gets over rested....mowing it stimulates it to keep growing. Fescue will tend to spread or thicken up if clipped occasionally ....like a lawn.
We used to grow tobacco and we would start the plants in float trays....styrofoam trays on water with soil mix. if you set the plants when they got up to size without clipping them they would really struggle to live because they were so tender...so we learned that if you rigged up a lawn mower or a weed eater and clipped them 2 or 3 times before you set them ....they would really toughen up and they would live a lot better. Same thing happens with the grass I think.
I made that blunder too and was hay feeding at Thanksgiving when normally I would start New years
 

Brute 23

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Well this blows your theory of hotter and dryer. Barely hotter and you get more rain.
The getting rid of the fescue seed heads is a plus for me and the areas I cut a week ago are already coming back strong. I try to cut it at 10" or so and it still shades the ground. Once the fescue tops die I don't see much shade effects. I don't mean this towards you so don't take it that I am but most of the people I see arguing for leaving them for shade are just too lazy to get out and cut them.
I'm not trying to convince any one to do any thing here. This is interred to me so I'm just reading along.

I know fescue seems to be a popular grass in some areas but reading this makes me think it's kind of high maintenance. A grass that you may have to mow once or twice a year to make it palatable or not toxic sounds like a pia. That's some expensive maintenance.

Is the nutritional value of fescue that great?

What is the stocking rate on fescue vs common bermuda?
 
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HDRider

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I'm not trying to convince any one to do any thing here. This is interred to me so I'm just reading along.

I know fescue seems to be a popular grass in some areas but reading this makes me think it's kind of high maintenance. A grass that you may have to mow once or twice a year to make it palatable or not toxic sounds like a pia. That's some expensive maintenance.

Is the nutritional value of fescue that great?

What is the stocking rate on fescue vs common bermuda?
Many hear can answer you better than I, but I think we use Fescue because of limited alternatives.

The toxicity seems to effect some cattle more than others. We use a phrase "Fescue tolerant" to describe cattle. Another popular phrase used to describe Fescue is "a curse and a blessing"
 
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HDRider

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I generally can graze up untill feb. or longer most years. But a few years ago i let about a third of the farm grow up untouched and ungrazed all summer to let it "rest" .
That year i was barely able to get to the first of the year and was pushing to do that .Since then i always clip everything at least a couple of times what i take out of rotation.......probably can't mow it too much as long as you don't mow it too short.
What happens is ......the spots in the pasture that the cattle don't eat because it gets too big stops growing after it heads out.....it gets over rested....mowing it stimulates it to keep growing. Fescue will tend to spread or thicken up if clipped occasionally ....like a lawn.
We used to grow tobacco and we would start the plants in float trays....styrofoam trays on water with soil mix. if you set the plants when they got up to size without clipping them they would really struggle to live because they were so tender...so we learned that if you rigged up a lawn mower or a weed eater and clipped them 2 or 3 times before you set them ....they would really toughen up and they would live a lot better. Same thing happens with the grass I think.
When do you mow last?
 

Brute 23

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Many hear can answer you better than I, but I think we use Fescue because of limited alternatives.

The toxicity seems to effect some cattle more than others. We use a phrase "Fescue tolerant" to describe cattle. Another popular phrase used to describe Fescue is "a curse and a blessing"
If you are in an area where you can have common bermuda or fescue why not work on getting more bermuda and less fescue?

Common bermuda is pretty good stuff. It's real hardy, makes decent hay, pretty good response to fert, easy to establish... doesnt have to be mowed twice a year.
 
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If you are in an area where you can have common bermuda or fescue why not work on getting more bermuda and less fescue?

Common bermuda is pretty good stuff. It's real hardy, makes decent hay, pretty good response to fert, easy to establish... doesnt have to be mowed twice a year.
We would lose at least a month of grazing on both sides of summer.
 

sstterry

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I'm not trying to convince any one to do any thing here. This is interred to me so I'm just reading along.

I know fescue seems to be a popular grass in some areas but reading this makes me think it's kind of high maintenance. A grass that you may have to mow once or twice a year to make it palatable or not toxic sounds like a pia. That's some expensive maintenance.

Is the nutritional value of fescue that great?

What is the stocking rate on fescue vs common bermuda?
Fescue toxicity is a thing, but it normally will happen when extra nitrogen has been applied in the Summer months. It also can only be transferred through the seed heads. Clipping the pasture serves two purposes, get rid of the seed head and promoting new and more palatable growth. Grasses like Bermuda ect. just will not thrive in our area and require high fertilization. Orchardgrass is used for hay here but will only survive for 4 or 5 years.

The fescue/white clover mix is the swiss army knife of grasses for this area and for much of the mid-south.
 

Banjo

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You can mow up as late in the year as its still growing....as long as it can still grow back. Around here you could mow up in Oct. maybe Nov. depending on how the season is. I think you should mow higher and higher the further you get into fall......just knock off the tops maybe an inch or two to stimulate it to grow more. Something else you can do too is flash graze....let the cattle in for an hour or two, just eating the tops off...nothing more. one thing that mowing does is it leaves all the residue/nutrients right there.....cattle will walk it off or move it around often times....they will graze an hour or two then go to the pond or shade tree and stand and manure and urinate....moving the nutrients off the field to some degree.
 

Banjo

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If you are in an area where you can have common bermuda or fescue why not work on getting more bermuda and less fescue?

Common bermuda is pretty good stuff. It's real hardy, makes decent hay, pretty good response to fert, easy to establish... doesnt have to be mowed twice a year.
Fescue .....when it frost and freezes a few times becomes highly palatable......the sugar content goes way up.` Its not real palatable in the summer, but that can be good...it keeps cattle from eating it into the ground.....so with proper management you graze long into the winter eliminating some expensive hay costs.
Clover will mitigate the toxicity of fescue a whole lot....red clover seems to be the best according to the U of Ky.
 

sstterry

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it keeps cattle from eating it into the ground.....
Lol, not where I live :)
Clover will mitigate the toxicity of fescue a whole lot....red clover seems to be the best according to the U of Ky.
The clover fixes nitrogen in the soil so it does away with the need for added fertilization. I will not argue with the U of Ky as far as Red Clover goes, but Ladino Clover is perennial which means the pasture can be self-sustaining. The manure can add back some P and K and the nitrogen is supplied by the clover. A lot of farmers here will never even fertilize the pastures and have adequate grass (not great but adequate).
 

Banjo

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Lol, not where I live :)

The clover fixes nitrogen in the soil so it does away with the need for added fertilization. I will not argue with the U of Ky as far as Red Clover goes, but Ladino Clover is perennial which means the pasture can be self-sustaining. The manure can add back some P and K and the nitrogen is supplied by the clover. A lot of farmers here will never even fertilize the pastures and have adequate grass (not great but adequate).
You are right ...they will under continuous grazing or passive RG. i do daily moves so they won't hit the fescue very hard if there are some summer grasses and clover in there too.
The Ladino is longer lived than the RC. I like the RC because it gets tall along with the taller grasses. Also, if you can clip the RC 2 or 3 times in a year......thats putting a whole lot of plant food back on the ground....posssibly superior to plowing it under IMO. The guy I buy my RC from says he frost seeds 5 lbs. every year to maintain it in his pastures.
 

kenny thomas

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I'm not trying to convince any one to do any thing here. This is interred to me so I'm just reading along.

I know fescue seems to be a popular grass in some areas but reading this makes me think it's kind of high maintenance. A grass that you may have to mow once or twice a year to make it palatable or not toxic sounds like a pia. That's some expensive maintenance.

Is the nutritional value of fescue that great?

What is the stocking rate on fescue vs common bermuda?
As stated by others common Bermuda is pretty much a weed here. I mow once, and I get some warm season grasses starting about now. I have half the farm that hasn't seen a cow since turnout in early April. I cut some of it today. Heavy seed heads. In 2 weeks it will be thick blades and white clover.
Labor day weekend about half my farm will get 55-66 actual pounds of N. No cows will be on those fields until Dec 20. I test the stockpile fescue in early December and it runs from 17% to over 19% protein. It will stay good all winter loosing only a point or two by late March. I fed hay 3 weeks last winter plus 3-4 days the grass was snow covered.
 

Stocker Steve

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- Don't use triple 19. Look at your soil test and consider applying N and S only.
- Don't hay a field continually. Consider buying hay, or cut once and graze, or broadcasting some legumes and letting the cows walk the seed in.
- There are several goals of MIG. One is to provide a long enough rest period. If you rotate rapidly w only a few paddocks - - you will not have a long enough rest period. Ideally you want a one to three day grazing period followed by a 21 to 45 day rest period. This usually means lots of paddocks and poly wire.
 

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