Several University of Missouri Research Farms and Centers and beef producers across Missouri have began tracking pasture growth using the grazing wedge available on the site. The grazing wedge gives producers a visual picture of pasture availability (Figure 1). Using the grazing wedge producers can plan pasture rotation, hay making or stocking rate adjustments.
When using a grazing wedge the idea is to keep pastures along the ideal cover line shown in blue. Once a pasture turns red forage quality and growth rate will begin to decline while pastures in green are vegetative and actively growing. After a pasture is grazed or hayed the remaining forage may show up as yellow indicating potential overgrazing.
The grazing wedge's short term forage inventory and the current growth rate allows producers to plan forage management decisions during the grazing season. Any producer can develop their own grazing wedge by creating a new account and entering pasture data from their operation during the growing season. Watch for further information regarding this project in future issues of this newsletter and continued development of the web site.
Please Join Us...
Over the last two summers we have used the grazing wedge to plan the rotation sequence for paddocks included in a research project conducted at the FSRC. The study is being conducted again this year and you are welcome to view our grazing wedge (and our pasture management) on line at www.grazingbeef.missouri.edu. Under the farm selection box choose 'WSCSF'. The grazing wedge data for the previous two years can also be viewed by selecting the appropriate year.
The Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station is the research arm of the
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
at the University of Missouri-Columbia