Manure Matters - Pasture Fertility

Picture this:  I can plant my pasture or hay field, make sure it gets established and then do nothing ever again, right? Wrong... Pastures need attention too!

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Soil Test

          Just like your row crop fields, pasture and hay stands need checked on regularly as well! Sample your pastures at least every 3 years to monitor levels of everything from Phosphorus and Potassium to trace minerals like Magnesium and Sulfur (these are really important to the livestock you are feeding). This will ensure that you know what is happening in your fields and if there is anything that may need adjusted.

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Fertilize

          The type of fertilizer added can vary from farm to farm, but in the photos above, we see that manure matters! This manure injected in mid-August with a rain shower shortly after worked wonders for this hay field. A visual like this shows why nitrogen availability specifically is extremely important to grass stands as you can see right where the manure was injected.

Consider Your Grazing Rotation

          A healthy soil may not need as much added fertility, think about what that could do to your input costs! Consider rotational grazing to improve your plant and soil health to make the above concepts less crucial to the productivity of your pastures.

Repeat all those steps as needed!