The biggest mistake ranchers make in pasture management is not giving their pastures enough rest, explains Dave Pratt, CEO emeritus of Ranch Management Consultants.
A plant’s recovery period must be based on its growth rate. Slower growth means longer rest is needed, and vice-versa.
But how can a rancher define longer rest? It depends on multiple factors, including grazing severity, time of year, plant species (warm- or cool-season grasses), whether you need to stockpile grass and other management objectives.
“A lot of ranchers seem to think regrowth comes from energy stored in roots and crowns, but that’s not the case,” Pratt explains. “Energy for regrowth actually comes from the leaves left on the plants. Most ranchers don’t leave enough leaves; they graze their pastures too severely.”
In this video from Ranching 4 Profit, Pratt provides insight into faster pasture recovery.
Grazing Recovery Guidelines: