Grazing Stockpile during May/June Drought ?

Help Support CattleToday:

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
430
Location
Central Minnesota
Setting heat records here. Sold off about 25% of herd and delayed turnout as long as possible. Still struggling since there is no regrowth on high ground. Have two old hay field stands that don't have enough forage to make a windrow, so grazing them next. Cows have gotten aggressive and eat brown stems that they would not have touched last year. They will take it all the way down if you let them.

Is there any reason perennials would come back before next spring? Considering NT drilling of more annuals...
 
Last edited:

Lee VanRoss

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
704
Reaction score
677
I may be alone on this but I would put emphasis on the land and not graze hay ground that would not make a windrow.
It would be better in my opinion to sell off stock as required to maintain soil stability. My point is when you run out of
feed you will be compelled to either buy feed at the market or sell cows regardless. Grubbed down pasture will not come
back without weed pressure and in any case will lag behind any ground that has had some protection from the sun and
the ability to retain moisture which barren ground will not. If you have never entertained using rotational grazing this may
be a good time to give it some consideration. There are several options with it and there may be one or more that can
be applied to your situation provided you are not using it already. Good luck whatever course you take..LVR
 

Rydero

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
639
Reaction score
783
Location
Manitoba, Canada
Tough one. I'm thinking it may be time to consider using the money you'd buy seed with to buy feed/grain.

Your perennial plants have deeper roots than annuals will have. If the perennials are already hibernating it's pretty safe to say all the moisture is used up. The annuals won't grow without rain. When it rains they'll have to compete with established perennials with deeper root structures. You probably won't have much luck spraying them out either because they aren't actively growing. If it doesn't rain what you're spraying out is the only thing you'll get out of those fields...

There's plenty that can still happen if you get rain at some point. There may be options upcoming with failed crops if there isn't much.
 
OP
S

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
430
Location
Central Minnesota
I estimated I have 16 days of grass, which would be OK, except there is very little regrowth. Hay fields would extend the 16 days. I think I will come up with stock water and sacrifice the ones that need renovation.

My NT annual plans are still in the bag since they would not sprout. Some meadow hay is on the market at 2X last years price. Seed money would not go very far.

One neighbor parked his equipment and sold his entire herd. Sounds like he is going fishing. Others are banking on corn silage... It is amazing how the new corn genetics will hang in there waiting for rain.
 
Last edited:

Rydero

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
639
Reaction score
783
Location
Manitoba, Canada
I estimated I have 16 days of grass, which would be OK, except there is very little regrowth. Hay fields would extend the 16 days. I think I will come up with stock water and sacrifice the ones that need renovation.

My NT annual plans are still in the bag since they would not sprout. Some meadow hay is on the market at 2X last years price. Seed money would not go very far.

One neighbor parked his equipment and sold his entire herd. Sounds like he is going fishing. Others are banking on corn silage... It is amazing how the new corn genetics will hang in there waiting for rain.

Spray seed, fertilizer, diesel, wages lost or paid to seed and pack add up. Not enough on its own but enough for a lot of bait and boat gas at the lake.

Corn's amazing. Most of the silage guys haven't suffered much through our drought Seems to only need 2 descent rains to produce a crop if planted early.
 
OP
S

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
430
Location
Central Minnesota
Ya, don't like handling corn silage myself, but grazing corn is in my future. Problem this year is I targeted Sept/Oct for grazing corn and I missed the drought planting window. I think the early planted corn (before correct soil temp) goes almost to China for moisture.

Beet byproduct is the other fall supplement here. We are on the edge of economically trucking high moisture feed out of the valley.
 

Rydero

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
639
Reaction score
783
Location
Manitoba, Canada
I keep threatening to graze corn but keep holding off until I'm sure I've got a piece of ground that's where I want it to be. No sense spending on all the inputs for a so so result.

Next time I'm short feed and the boss isn't I'll probably buy a wagon and silage from him. I'm back and forth almost every day anyhow and my tractor is quick enough for it to make sense. The wagon can open a lot of doors for feeding byproducts etc too.
 

Nkline

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
70
Reaction score
58
Location
Western Iowa
It might be a year that will pay for a Tmr wagon quickly. A little distillers and corn stocks or straw can really help stretch your pasture. If you are going to seed an annual, I would recommend Sunn hemp. It needs hot weather, but is very drought tolerant more so than corn or sorghum in my experience.
 
OP
S

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
11,016
Reaction score
430
Location
Central Minnesota
Never wanted to become a TMR man, but I have been tempted. I have feed sugar beet byproducts using a feeder wagon.

Folks are paying crazy money for meadow hay currently. Hopefully I can be some oats straw from valley again. It has similar feed value and a lower cost than crap hay.
 

W.B.

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
452
Reaction score
39
Location
SD
No good reason to not graze the hay ground. Rain does come even on dry years just not enough to break drought. We need something as we go here or we are screwed. The heat wave we have had in June needs to away for a while.
 

Brute 23

Brute 23
CT Supporter
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
9,738
Reaction score
1,244
Location
Gulf Coast of South Texas
I would not graze the hay ground. In fact I did not graze ours thru the last drought. I sold down and preserved pasture at all costs. I was one of the first to have hay ready to cut when it started raining. Even with all the rain some people are having to buy this outrageous priced feed because they grazed it too hard in the drought. We are sitting pretty good with low numbers, cows in good condition, and grass starting to stockpile going in to August.

Over grazing can bite you in the rear for years to come.
 

Nkline

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
70
Reaction score
58
Location
Western Iowa
Sunn hemp does need to be innoculated, as it is a nitrogen fixing legume. I think recommended seeding rates are a little high, but I seem to alway plant it after a silage small grain into dry soil and then get little rain. The thinner it is planted the bigger each plant gets, much like soybeans. Also, spraying the seedlings for bugs could help as insects seem to like them the first week.
 

Nkline

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
70
Reaction score
58
Location
Western Iowa
I plant it with teosinte (long season corn would be similar), to graze. It could be seeded alone. Teosinte takes a bit of water to germinate, more than corn. I have also planted it with forage sorghum, but don’t like worrying about Prussic acid.
 

Latest posts

Top