Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Using an integrated pasture management plan will allow you to keep your livestock in the pasture longer every year.
Isabelle Thibout is a Product Manager for Specialties, which includes Range and Pasture at Corteva Agriscience.
She says an integrated plan focuses on several different components to ensure the land your livestock are grazing is healthy.
“When I’m talking about integrated pasture management, it is taking into consideration the fertilization profile of the soil,” Thibout said.
She says that encompasses soil testing, managing your grazing rotation, as well as unwanted weeds, brush, and trees through herbicides or mechanical brush management.
“By taking those elements into consideration, it’s how we can improve the health of the pasture.”
Integrated Pasture Management Includes:
- Soil Testing
- Managing a Grazing Rotation
- Managing Unwanted Weeds, Brush, and Trees
READ MORE: BCRC: Weed and Brush Control in Pastures
Thibout says they have received plenty of positive feedback from producers who have implemented a plan and some studies on it.
From that, they have discovered some interesting findings, including being able to graze more cows on the same acre, which helps the producer’s bottom line.
“Based on our study, about 78 percent more cows can be grazed on just an acre when we, for instance, choose to use some range and pasture herbicides.”
LISTEN TO MORE: Maritime AgCast: Episode 6: Grazing and Pasture Management
Thibout says it is vital to eliminate weeds that will hurt the livestock’s health.
“Some of them can be toxic to the cows, so they will not eat it, and then it will impact the health of the cow because they are not eating as well as they can.”
She says some are invasive and can take over pastures and choke out the native and seeded grass if not managed.
The more native and-or seeded grass available, the better the cows will eat and spend less time wandering for food.
“It will increase their health, and also increase their weight.”
From a producer’s perspective, Thibout says that by increasing the health of the pasture using tactics like weed control, soil testing, and grazing management, farmers will be able to keep them grazing longer and off feed, which will help their bottom-line.