Forage: Grazing Management

The major expense involved with growing or maintaining cattle is feed cost. Because grazing is usually the least expensive means to provide nutrients to livestock, a primary goal of beef cattle producers should be to utilize pasture for as many months of the year as possible and minimize dependence on stored feed. This sounds very simple in theory, but in reality is often difficult to accomplish. Grazing management is the technique a producer uses to control the grazing behavior of cattle, ultimately to manage forage growth and limit under-grazing and over-grazing.

Information and Resources

Link Pointer Grazing Management Principles for Beef Cattle
Employing improved grazing management practices can be beneficial to cattle operations for a number of reasons including improved forage utilization, decreased feed costs, better forage persistence, more uniform manure distribution, improved water quality, and decreased soil erosion. Proper management of pastures, and in turn, cattle, may provide improved animal performance by matching cattle nutrient requirements with pastures of appropriate quality and forage availability.

Link Pointer Grazing Livestock in Woodlands
This publication has been developed to address concerns of grazing livestock in woodlands and to offer considerations and general management recommendations that will help to meet the needs of livestock producers while protecting woodlands and timber assets. Woodlands and pastureland are innate to the Tennessee landscape, and the production of both livestock and timber are vital to Tennessee’s commerce. Tennessee’s landscape, with its rolling hills, is well-suited for the production of both livestock and timber commodities.

Link Pointer Extending Grazing and Reducing Stored Feed Needs
For most livestock producers extending the grazing season for their animals, or otherwise filling gaps in pasture forage availability to reduce stored feed needs, should be a high priority objective. This can be accomplished by forage growth distribution, stockpiling of forage, taking advantage of unique grazing opportunities, and other forage or livestock management approaches.

Link Pointer Determining Paddock Size in a Rotational Grazing Program
Rotational grazing should follow a formula to assure proper paddock size.

Link Pointer Grazing Native Warm-Season Grasses in the Mid-South
Native warm-season grasses can be a valuable tool for mid-South forage producers and complement existing cool-season forages. They can provide large volumes of high-quality forage produce excellent gains and provide considerable protection against drought. They require minimal fertilizer or lime to sustain productivity, and have few known insect or disease pests.