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Electric fence, mob-grazing and management-intensive grazing, solar electric chargers, and certain improved grasses have been saving graces for our soil and our cattle. We manage fescue problems through appropriate cool-season grazing, using crabgrass, lespedeza and clovers overseeded on permanent pastures for hot weather. We no longer need to use lick tubs, because the soils have improved so much since MiG began here in 1989. The soils in the well-established MiG pastures provide all of the nutrients the cattle need, other than a 12/12 salt-mineral mix with selinium. GPS systems would offer very little help here. Water systems in each cell have improved pasture utilization tremendously. Our next major improvement needs to be getting clean fresh water piped to every paddock in every grazing cell. More shade would also be helpful, especially during years like 2012 when drought and heat were devastating.
Improved grasses is by far the best pasture innovation; followed by herbicides.
Here in southern mo novel endophyte fescue is undoubtedly the biggest innovation. However much of the steep pasture land is too steep to be converted from ky31. If this stuff had just been available 50 years ago when dad and grandpa were seeding the hills.
we have controlled the weeds but not the grasshoppers
Coming out of last year's drought, our pastures were poor. Late frost seeding of legumes accompanied by bountiful spring rains has been our salvation as we renovated our pastures this year. We have excess weeds but we'll address that next. Even in the drought, we practiced rotational grazing and this years soil test showed improvement.
Herbicides to control invasive species of weeds. And, use of a wick bar for economically over-the-top application.
I'm not sure introduced grasses have been important to beef production but they certainly have been the major contributor to near extinction of many grassland wildlife species.
We have used lick tubs and water placement to better utilize large pastures.
It strongly appears to us that the winds move the cattle more than any other factor.
Including ones local climate info, re annual precipitation and timing of it, temperature ranges and frost dates would help in analyzing how various changes might work in my area. As would types of grasses, whether native grasses and forbs, or introduced, or annual plantings.
I'd have to say that the most innovative thing to happen to my pastures is the use of fungi like myccorhizae to improve mineral and nutrition uptake in the plants. I have found that all forage improves when you allow the plant access to the nutrients which have not been readily available to the plants. My stocking rate has increase three fold.
You can make an argument for any choice it depends what type environment you're grazing in. An effective, affordable fence to gain more management of livestock is what the modern electric fence provided.
I concur with the given percentages of the answers here. Many aspects of pasture management would not be possible without utilizing electric fences, availability of adequate water, mineral portability, and improved quality of forages, Consequently, ALL of the improvements mentioned here are optimal improvements.
Doing away with fences and reconfiguring pastures using GPS systems will add flexibility to your grazing methods, eliminate fencing costs and allow you to reconfigure your ranch to expedite livestock to where the forage is on a seasonal basis. Technology has infused every aspect of our lives and this one has promise.
I think the biggest (most important) pasture innovation isn't listed, improved (introduced) grasses.
The power of a highly palatable low-moisture block, "lick tub" has been verified with GPS technology to move cattle to areas within a pasture that can expand forage utilization for that land resource. A low-cost cost way of gettting more from what you already have, without investing large amounts of dollars in equipment, water development, labor, etc. Some innovations don't have to be complex or expensive.
Electric fence coupled with solar power for both charger and water opens up pasture possibilities almost anywhere
Most pasture management methods would not be feaable with low cost electric fence either permanent or temporary.
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