Pasture Management Tips for August

By Leah Bond, K-State Research and Extension beef specialist. For cattle producers, August can be a time of transition.
calendar icon 18 July 2007
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Forages are maturing, weaning is approaching, the weather can be very hot and dry – and producers should be aware of their pasture conditions and herd health.

A K-State Research and Extension beef specialist, offered these tips for producers as they manage their pastures and cow herds in August:

  • Enhance grazing distribution with a mineral mixture placed away from water sources.

  • Observe pasture weed problems to help plan control methods for next spring.

  • Monitor grazing conditions and rotate cattle to different pastures, if possible and practical.

  • Be prepared to provide emergency feeds if pastures run out in late summer. Providing supplemental feeding now can help extend the grazing period.

  • Reduce spoilage and waste of forages by harvesting and storing properly.

  • Have harvested forages analyzed for nitrate and nutrient composition.

  • Plan a winter nutrition program through pasture and forage management.

  • Supplement maturing grasses with a degradable intake protein for stocker cattle and replacement heifers.

  • Avoid unnecessary heat stress by handling cattle during the coolest parts of the day.

  • Repair, replace and improve facilities needed for fall processing.

  • Order supplies, vaccines, tags and other products needed at weaning time.
If drought conditions develop and persist, Marston recommends that producers consider weaning calves earlier than normal. Early weaning can be effective, if current range conditions are limiting milk production in cows and if the cows are losing weight or body condition.

Before weaning calves early, producers should make sure that they have the facilities and management available to handle lightweight calves, Marston said. First calf heifers have the most to gain from early weaning, and feeding early-weaned calves is more efficient than feeding cows without weaning their calves.

July 2007

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