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  #1  
Old 08/06/11, 09:26 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Michigan
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Do you mow your pasture?

Just wondering if anyone mows their pasture after grazing? I just started rotational grazing this summer. The extremely wet spring meant that we couldn't graze or cut hay until very late. This left us with very tall grass -- and lots of weeds, since it hasn't been managed for awhile.

The animals didn't graze very low so I clipped the area after each rotation. We're on our last rotation of the tall residual which I'll clip pretty soon. Now that all the tall stuff has been knocked down, I'm not sure if I should continue to do this or not.

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  #2  
Old 08/06/11, 10:06 PM
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DH mows some of our pastures if they have thistles, cockle burs and other noxious weeds.

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  #3  
Old 08/06/11, 10:27 PM
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Mowing is good for weed control. It cuts the seed heads off of plants that the cows don't eat.

I don't mow after grazing if the drought is severe and the grass is struggling to grow.

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Old 08/06/11, 11:25 PM
 
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mowing the taller stuff will also help control pink eye.

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  #5  
Old 08/07/11, 07:30 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: South Carolina
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Good years like I'm having now I'll mow at certain times, I plan on doing it in the next couple of weeks. Bad years like last year I shouldn't have mowed but I did and it was a mistake.

I have mowed twice this year to control the fescue to stop it from going to seed, I raise my bushhog to it's highest point.

The 3rd mowing was to control some thick and large bitterweed patches.
The 4th that's to happen soon will be to control some other summer weeds.

That will hopefully be all the mowing I will do this year.

The price of fuel has me wondering if I shouldn't spray for the weeds....

I only have a 6 foot bushhog which takes FOREVER on 40 acres of pasture. Wish I had a 12 - 15 foot bushhog then I wouldn't think twice.

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  #6  
Old 08/07/11, 08:02 AM
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I bushhog to knock down the weeds, and have done so in wet years to keep the grasses from seeding out.

Grass responds to how often it is cut. For example, I might bushhog a pasture twice, but may need to cut my lawn every 2-3 weeks. And my cattle graze my yard as they love that new growth. I tell people I don't have cattle in my yard, my mobile home happens to sit in one of their pastures. They do an excellent job of irrigation and their fertilizer goes to a BILs mulch pile.

One of my hayfields is mostly Johnson grass, which can become excellent hay if cut before about 18" high. This year I'm delaying second cutting so the seed whill be scratted when cut for hay. I'll alternated feeding between a first cut bale and a second cut bale.

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Old 08/07/11, 12:05 PM
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Location: VA
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To help control tall weeds, a rig like this works pretty well. Add Roundup and drive.

You can buy this one or Agri Supply carries every part necessary to make one, even the wicking and the fittings to hold it.

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  #8  
Old 08/07/11, 12:15 PM
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I don't mow pastures anymore. (Diesel fuel is too expensive) I've noticed with the last few years of drought and overgrazing the weeds have all but taken over my pastures. Surprisingly enough, when cows get hungry, they'll eat those weeds!!!!!

Maybe every two years I'll do some brush mowing to control sprouts and green briars, but other than that I just let the goats and sheep do it for me.

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  #9  
Old 08/07/11, 12:48 PM
FEF FEF is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
Just wondering if anyone mows their pasture after grazing? I just started rotational grazing this summer. The extremely wet spring meant that we couldn't graze or cut hay until very late. This left us with very tall grass -- and lots of weeds, since it hasn't been managed for awhile.

The animals didn't graze very low so I clipped the area after each rotation. We're on our last rotation of the tall residual which I'll clip pretty soon. Now that all the tall stuff has been knocked down, I'm not sure if I should continue to do this or not.

I had to smile at this question. Pastures are dirt here. I've lost half the grass in my back yard from the drought. Makes me happy that some people are still growing grass.
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  #10  
Old 08/07/11, 09:54 PM
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Location: SW Michigan
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Yes, I mow mine. I have more pasture than animals and if I don't mow- it quickly gets out of hand. I mow strips so they always have something to eat and it's my version of rotational grazing. I was gone too long this summer and it all got away from me. But we're getting there.

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  #11  
Old 08/08/11, 12:35 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Michigan
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Thanks for all the responses. I mowed ours to 3" because my mower won't go any higher. That seemed too short. The grass has come back nicely now, but at first it looked terrible. I think I'm the only idiot alive that mowed pasture with a garden tractor, but its all I had at the time. At least it gives my farmer neighbors some comic relief, though. Sometimes I swear the same cars go by 15 times, real slow, just trying to figure out what crazy antics the new guy is up to now. Anyway, I have access to a 3-point mower now, so if we mow again we can keep it higher.

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  #12  
Old 08/08/11, 12:58 PM
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No need. The goats and sheep keep the pastures looking like new-mown lawns. No weeds, no roughs.

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