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With the cost of fertilizer and equipment increasing, it is important that minimal forage is wasted by cattle. With a little extra expense and labour, beef producers can make better use of available pastures.
Cattle are not efficiently using the forage if there are areas in pasture where the grass is tall and other areas where it is short. Do not clip these pastures to get them growing evenly: clipping is expensive and it wastes grass. Instead, reduce the pasture size, this increases the stocking density so that animals must graze all of the forage. Any unpalatable forage that is not grazed will be trampled down creating a seedbed suitable for more palatable varieties.
Divide the pastures that are currently being grazed as a starting point. Be sure that animals have access to water and mineral in every pasture. Cattle should consume the available grass within approximately a few days. If it takes longer, they will return to previously grazed areas and leave some areas to mature. Pastures not needed for grazing can be utilized for hay.
To divide pastures and hold in cattle, use one or two strands of electric fencing. Make sure the temporary fence is properly installed and is functioning with at least 6000v running through the system.
In summary, beef cattle producers should use their their animals to fully utilize all the forage produced on the farm. Electric fencing will help create optimum size pastures.