Winter Pastures Could Save Hay

US - Planting winter pastures this fall might not save livestock producers’ bacon, but doing so could certainly help them save what hay they have if there’s another drought next summer, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
calendar icon 17 July 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Texas A&M

“Normally, people plant winter pastures to defray winter feeding costs,” said Dr Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Overton. “But hay stocks are certainly not up to sufficient levels, and by reducing winter feeding they can certainly hang onto more of the stocks they have.”

To help producers do the best possible job of developing and utilizing winter pastures, Dr Banta and his colleague, Dr Vanessa Corriher, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton, will be conducting a short course, “Winter Pastures for Central and East Texas,” 9:30 am – 6 pm, August, 17, at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton. Registration for the programme is $60 and includes lunch and program materials, and will be limited to the first 50 people to register. The program will offer two continuing education units to Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide applicator license holders — one in the integrated pest management category and one in general. Register online by going to and entering the keyword “pasture.”

The programme will answer a lot of the questions people commonly have about establishing winter pastures, Dr Banta said. Some issues addressed will include which species are best suited to a particular type of operation, how much money on feed cost they can expect to save, and how to interpret seed-tag information and create a custom soil and production map for a farm from satellite data.

Programme topics will be: species and variety selection, Dr Corriher; monthly and seasonal forage production potential, Dr Banta; establishment and fertilisation, Dr Corriher; estimated costs, grazing and utilisation strategies, Dr Banta; insect control and transitioning from winter to spring forages, Dr Corriher; insects in legumes, Dr Corriher; bloat and grass tetany prevention and management, Dr Banta; and appropriate mineral supplementation, Dr Banta.

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