The fall period, particularly the months of September and October, is an important time to manage pastures. Specifically, pastures must be managed to ensure that the desirable grass and legume plants are able to build up and store carbohydrate reserves for the winter period. It is this ability to store carbohydrate reserves and thus keep a root system living over the winter months that distinguishes a perennial plant from an annual plant. It is during the short-day, long-night periods in the fall of the year that flower buds are formed/initiated on the crown of the plant.
While the leaf tissue dies during the winter, the buds and roots of the plant remain as living tissues over the winter and continue to respire and burn energy. If root reserves are insufficient, the plant may die over the winter. If the plant survives but root reserves are low, spring re-growth and vigor of the plant is reduced.
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