Small split pastures

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Oct 21, 2017
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I'm new here and new to cattle. I do not have any cattle right now but I'm trying to learn and get a few things figure out before I start. I've got some land that is like to put a few cattle on. 4-6 for family meat and a hobby, making any kind of money off them would just a bonus to me.

I live in the Upstate of South Carolina where we have very mild winters and a long summer growing season.

I would like some input on a "plan" I've come up with. I've put up 2 pictures of the potential pastures. 6 acres on one side and close to 3 on the other.
My idea is to have the cattle graze the 6 or so acres in the spring/summer/early fall with maybe a bermuda/fescue mix and once that starts to go dormant move them to the 3 acres planted with.....rye???

Do you think this will work?
If so, what would you plant on the 3 acres to graze in the winter? I figure I'll still have to supplement with SOME hay. And I'd probably use Brown top millet on the "winter field" as a cover crop if that matters.


Sorry I worded that wrong. Id use the millet as a cover crop in the summer while that 3acres is empty
First off, welcome to CT. Hope you get to be able to have a few head. I have an old computer and cannot seem to enlarge the pictures so can't really tell you much about your ideas. But that said, have you talked to any county extension agents? As taxpayers, we pay their salaries, so get in touch with them and pick their brains, ask for advice, and see if they will come out and give you their 2 cents. It's free... Not saying you have to or even should take their advice, but a good one can be very helpful.
What is growing there now? I would probably split the 6 acre pasture in half or thirds, rotational graze them there, and if the grass is fairly decent you will get even more "grass time" than if you were to run them on the whole thing. And maybe utilize the 3 acre across the road in the rotation early on and then let it grow and stockpile for the winter.

We have a fair amount of winter here in Va so I cannot tell you how to utilize it since we do have 4 months of non-growing weather normally. But we do stockpile grass on 2 places and last year grazed the cattle with minimal supplemental hay because we had a winter of no snow accumulation and temps were not so awful bad for much of the winter. I think overall we used about half the hay we normally do, in a "normal" winter with snow and colder temps. We do rotational grazing at several places we rent since there are fences and water available in the separate fields. Electric is not practical due to the heavy deer populations and that we do not get to every field to check the fence on a daily basis. On the places we have where we are in and out daily, electric works to split things up a bit.

There are a few members in AL and maybe NC that might have some weather closer to what you have.
Ranch7DK":2ea28xz8 said:
here is a newbie question.
What / How do you "stock pile" grass.
In your end of the world i have no idea. Here I stockpile fescue in the fall for winter grazing. I will let someone from your area address what's needed there.
Ranch7DK":1whe7ygm said:
here is a newbie question.
What / How do you "stock pile" grass.

Just means you allow a pasture to really grow up or even fully mature and then let the cattle eat it when there is nothing left in the grazed pastures. This can get you through a winter or drought without feeding hay if your stocking rates are correct.
Google up Arkansas result will be a condensed 8 pages taking you through a couple of alternatives. A second result is about 38 pages...more graphs, pix, etc that will take you toward the same goal: more forage based and less purchased hay. OnPasture is another web site with lots of short articles and YouTube links.