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Solution: Pasture Planting

Pasture Planting:  Planting grasses or legumes in low-producing pasture or as a replacement for a cropped field.

 

How it Works

Photo of pasture planting.

Establishing heavy sod cover provides quality forage for livestock, stablizes eroding areas, filters runoff water, and can provide wildlife habitat and cover.

Planning

  • Before seeding or inter-seeding, graze closely or clip to expose soil surface to sunlight.
  • Select plant species that will meet the needs of your livestock. Legumes added to grasses will improve forage quality and extend the grazing season.
  • If possible, choose species that require minimal use of pesticides.
  • If only two grass species are selected, use them in equal proportions in the seeding mixture. Do not mix cool and warm season grasses in the same pasture.
  • If erosion is a problem, plan to till on the contour and leave at least 30% residue after planting. A nurse crop of oats might be necessary on steeper slopes or areas where weeds are a problem.
  • The new pasture should not be grazed until vegetation is well established.

Maintenance

  • Fertilize as needed based on soil tests.
  • Mow weeds when they reach a height of 6-8 inches. Control persistent weeds with herbicides.

Questions?  Ask a Conservationist!