Grazing Rye?

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m&kCattle

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I'm trying to change my ways and get to feeding less bales every year. I'll admit old habits are hard to break but I'm motivated by the results so far. Anyhow my question - I planted some rye to graze in the spring, also turned them in on it late fall. They did well ( cow /calf operation ) on it and I pulled them trying to leave 3 or 4" of growth so it was able to with stand the frost. We have had a killing frost already and there is still some decent growth on the stand. Can I graze this growth off? I know with alfalfa after the frost it is ok to graze it but I'm not sure with rye? I would wait until the ground is froze so they don't tear it up. I'm not wanting to hurt the spring stand because this was the reason for planting the rye.....suggestions??
 

SRBeef

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m&kCattle":1yhtg3dr said:
I'm trying to change my ways and get to feeding less bales every year. I'll admit old habits are hard to break but I'm motivated by the results so far. Anyhow my question - I planted some rye to graze in the spring, also turned them in on it late fall. They did well ( cow /calf operation ) on it and I pulled them trying to leave 3 or 4" of growth so it was able to with stand the frost. We have had a killing frost already and there is still some decent growth on the stand. Can I graze this growth off? I know with alfalfa after the frost it is ok to graze it but I'm not sure with rye? I would wait until the ground is froze so they don't tear it up. I'm not wanting to hurt the spring stand because this was the reason for planting the rye.....suggestions??

All during the growing season I am careful not to graze anything down too short. It is important to leave some leaf area so the grass can regrow. Especially in the fall forage needs plenty of leaf area left to store food in the roots for over winter and to start spring regrowth.

After a killing frost however the top of the plant is about done and might as well be used before it gets covered with snow or deteriorates further. I have mine out grazing now with hay available.

Like you I am trying to use less hay. The bales I put out have lasted much longer than the calculation for the group in the pasture where there was some top left to graze. While in my sacrifice pasture with little grazing left for that group, the bale was finished at just the time my 3%/day calculation showed.

So I would just let them graze it down at this point. It does help if the ground is frozen to minimize hoof damage for next spring regrowth. jmho and experience.

Jim
 

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