According to Extension Weed Scientist, Dr. Mark Renz, although spring precipitation has alleviated some concern about a continued drought, we can expect some lingering effects in 2013 related to weed management. Many pastures last summer were overgrazed, and only the weeds remained green until the late rains in September. The combination of slow regrowth this spring and stress on pasture forages last year will result in significant changes in pasture plant composition in 2013, with the potential for weed species to increase. Mark reviewed several management practices to consider in pastures related to weed management in this week’s issue of WI Crop Manager.
Anders Gurda, UW Madison Agroecology is looking at farmer perceptions and use of mob grazing and weed control in the Upper Midwest as part of his M.S. research efforts. Anders has developed a survey that farmers can participate in. By completing the survey you are benefiting the grazing community as a whole by increasing the usefulness and responsiveness of Extension services and increasing our collective understanding of a diversity of grazing practices.
To begin the survey, click on: Mobgrazing
If you have any questions about the project, please contact Anders Gurda at email@example.com .
Wisconsin pastures will need extra TLC in 2013 to overcome the extremely dry and hot conditions that we experienced during the 2012 growing season. Plan to get out on your pastures early this spring to assess their condition, then review previous soil fertility, weed concerns, and grazing records to anticipate site specific issues as you develop this season’s management plans for your pastures. The factsheet, Spring Pasture Management Tips 2013 is available to assist Wisconsin producers as prepare for the 2013 grazing season.
A series of four factsheets is now available from the Iowa Beef Center to assist producers and land managers with developing contract grazing agreements. The series is from the Green Lands Blue Waters Coalition, including agency partners from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin within the Perennial Forages and Grazing workgroup. The factsheets cover the following topics:
Dairy farmers who are considering their options for increasing flexibility in their forage production systems may want to review a new SARE factsheet, Alternative Continuous-Cover Dairy Forage System for Profitability, Flexibility and Soil Health. In a SARE-funded study in New York, a cooperative team of farmers, researchers and consultants addressed these constraints in dairy farm rotations by developing an alternative forage cropping system with multiple options to produce high-quality forages. This system—Alternative Continuous-Cover Forage (ACCF)—produces high-quality dairy cattle forage with yields comparable to traditional cropping systems, and is based on soil health management, as opposed to the traditional crop rotation of corn silage for three or more years without the use of cover crops.