What’s Your Operation’s Fall Grazing Status?

Some parts of the U.S. have received much-needed rains recently, but the latest USDA report says 18% of the nation’s pasture and range is rated as Good or Excellent, with 58% at Poor or Very Poor. This week’s online poll question is: “What’s your operation’s fall grazing status?”

Be sure to leave your comments on your local situation in the comments section.

Discuss this poll 17

Anonymous
on Oct 24, 2012

Northern Nevada has been in a very serious drought. If Mother Nature does not bless our country with a long and wet winter, we will be forced to sell. Pray for rain and snow.

Anonymous
on Sep 23, 2012

Northern Arizona has experienced a record monsoon season in 2012. Gramma, rice grass, and dropseed seed crops are at record heights and we should see record seed crops. Fall temperatures continue to hold with no early freeze forecasted.
Replacement prices make it a tough decision to increase stocking rates.

Anonymous
on Sep 22, 2012

Armyworms continue to add insult to injury. Hurricane Isaac left us with a beautiful green flush of Red River and Quick N Big crabgrass, but the worms have grazed virtually all of it! We can't tell the alfalfa stems from the crabgrass stems. We hope others will fare better than we have here in western Kentucky. All that is left for our herd is some pretty pitiful crop residues and some weeds. The cows are good grass cattle though, and can do wonders with very little.

Anonymous
on Sep 19, 2012

Northeastern NV has received very little moist this summer. We are extremely dry and so far there is no relief in site. Main problem is springs and waterholes have dried up.

Anonymous
on Sep 19, 2012

Christmas in July this year, dormant pastures and 100 degree days. Even the soil structure was falling apart in the sandhills of Nebraska.

Anonymous
on Sep 18, 2012

With very little rain in Western ND this year grass is rapidly disappearing. What is left to graze is old grass from 2011.

Anonymous
on Sep 18, 2012

I have more grass this year than any in the last 5 years. North Carolina has had a plenty of rain in my area.

Anonymous
on Sep 18, 2012

North Missouri pastures are poor to very poor, recent rains have helped, but too little too late! If we don't get some good rains this fall, water shortage will be a big issue for most cow calf producers.

Anonymous
on Sep 18, 2012

I'm in short hard grass, Blue gramma, in a wet year produces 750 lbs/acre. Any stock pilled from previous years becomes very brittle breaking off when stepped on and if lucky the best that is consumed is 25%. Average moisture is 11.55 by this time of the year and today it's 4.75 inches. Most of that came at an average of .27 per storm. To be of help it has to be at least half an inch. My drought plan started in the spring of 2002 was to calf the year around. This year in Feb I sold off 100 spring calving cows. Starting in June the mother had her calf for 3 to 18 days at which time removed placed on to a Holstein nurse cow up to 75 days at which time they where on full feed. At 120 to 150 days of age close to 400 lbs off to auction. The mothers where graded when the calves where removed going either back to grass or to auction, 75% became future Big Macs. Now I'm purchasing large 7 or 8 month bred cows placing them into the system. Holsteins are rejected fresh heifers by the dairies. Three calf rotations of 3 per by then she has run the cycle and returns to auction. As a kid in the 40/50's I hand milked 30 head prior to and after school daily. Milk was separated, cream sold and the balance with an additive was bucketed back to dairy calves.

Beginning 2012 inventory was 325 and it looks like the ending inventory at most will be 44 plus those in the system on rotation.

Good luck to all, we'll survive this and droughts to come. Jim

Anonymous
on Sep 18, 2012

Grass is excellent. Best we have had in years.

Anonymous
on Sep 18, 2012

In Central Louisiana we've been blessed with rains this summer. Hay and pasture grass is plentiful. Seems hay supplies from around our area are moving slowly. Ground has good moisture so rye grass and clover seeded should do well this fall and winter too.

Anonymous
on Sep 17, 2012

recent light rains have started pastures back up but they are short and temps are dropping fast. moving the cows to some crp ground to give the pastures more time.still need more rain for grass and the ponds.

Anonymous
on Sep 16, 2012

Had carryover grass from 2011, but very little growth in 2012.Have leased extra pasture and culled cows in late summer. Will also wean early and cull more.

Anonymous
on Sep 15, 2012

Last year was wet. We have some reserve, and if it does not snow too deep and we can graze much of the winter, we can maybe keep it together. Hay is very high price.

Anonymous
on Sep 15, 2012

Our botom ground is green but very short while the hills are still brown. We are working hard to get cereal rye, Marshall rye ,Fescue and orchard grass drilled in. Been feeding hay since last week of June lick tubs,and creep since August,Culled two loads of cows just trying to survive worst I have ever seen in Southwest Mo.in all my 50 plus years.Today we have gotten 2.5 inches of rain most I have since I cannot remember.

Anonymous
on Sep 14, 2012

We have saved some of last year's grass, so will use that going into the fall along with Vitalix tubes. We will cull heavily within the next 2 weeks and pray for snow.

Anonymous
on Sep 14, 2012

We're very fortunate that we began receiving some rain in late July, still way behind and using the moisture as quickly as we get it. We were exceptionally dry prior to that. I made the call to reduce our stocker cattle to take pressure off the pasture and hopefully be able to maintain the breeding herd and keep replacement females. We've been using managed grazing for over 25 years and boy do the paddocks really respond to moisture if they haven't been overgrazed! Applied some nitrogen in August looks like we may get a ton of extra grass per acre. Best guess is we should be on grass until December then it will depend upon when snow gets too deep. Current grass is exceptionally low in fiber, plan to start feeding some coarse hay. Cattle are in good condition, will probably wean calves earlier than normal.

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