Pasture restoration

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RefugeRanch

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Hello everyone...I have a question regarding pasture restoration with rotational grazing. My family and I are looking at raising 15 - 25 beef cattle on a 20 acres pasture here in Michigan (a legume, grass and some weed mixture). We would like to start a rotational grazing program and I was wondering can a rotational grazing program bring a "past peek" pasture back to life. If not all on its own, what other steps should I be considering.

Thank you in advance.
 

Jogeephus

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I would get a soil test first then determine what type forage is in place. This will give you a base line and you can go from there.
 

PatWentworth

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Jogeephus

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PatWentworth":rmwdfqol said:
You might want to use a drag harrow on the fields to lightly bring them back into better condition. A harrow will allow for native grasses to come back from seed lying dormant just beneath the surface.

I wouldn't worry about "weeds." Cattle need diversity in their diet. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dANLnHEi19A

Diversity in cattle diet - See:
http://www.hpj.com/archives/2009/ma...t that livestock benefit from plant diversity

I think there is a lot to be said for this as I have been doing a little experiment on this. Last year I intended to level out a pasture and "improve it". I harrowed it several times but applied no herbicide. I intended to go back with Roundup later but time did not permit so I drilled millet into the loose dirt. Grazing was fair to good but what caught my attention was the grazing this winter. Native ryegrass and other forages took the site and this created some of the best winter grazing I have. It ain't pretty, but the cows choose this pasture over the other pastures and hay consumption has dropped considerably. Glad to see some research to confirm my visual observation.
 

PatWentworth

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I've always run a harrow over my seed to get better soil contact, but have recently tried a different approach.

Using MiG or HDG (high density or mob grazing), I spread seed about 15 minutes prior to turning loose the cattle
into the paddock. Then I let them stomp the seed into the ground while fertilizing it as well.

I haven't done it enough to call it a success, but it's less work for me and I think it will ultimately be more productive.
 

SANDTRAP

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PatWentworth":33m9bdq5 said:
I've always run a harrow over my seed to get better soil contact, but have recently tried a different approach.

Using MiG or HDG (high density or mob grazing), I spread seed about 15 minutes prior to turning loose the cattle
into the paddock. Then I let them stomp the seed into the ground while fertilizing it as well.

I haven't done it enough to call it a success, but it's less work for me and I think it will ultimately be more productive.

why type of seed ?
 

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