A pasture field is filled with nutritious plants and grass and is used to feed livestock. Maintaining its quality is essential because it can affect your animals’ health.
If you are maintaining commercial pasture land, it is important to know that invasion of poisonous weeds on your land can be harmful to your animal’s health. Hence, removing these harmful weeds should be the priority.
Fertilizing the land and strategically managing it can yield a high output. Do you know that well-managed pasture land can effectively produce output for five to ten years? So, add nutrition to your pasture and provide a high-quality yield to your livestock for five to ten years ahead. Know important tips for land and pasture management through below points-
1. Soil testing
Soil testing is the primary step. It reveals the specific nutrient needs and the amount required to replenish them. Mostly, soil testing is done to know the nutrient profile of the soil.
Nitrogen is an important nutrient for grass. Phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur are also necessary for good grass growth. That’s why the focus is on nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the soil while testing it. The vivid color and tremendous growth of grass are due to the presence of these three macronutrients. Feeding the nutrition-filled grasses to your livestock can make them healthy; thus, investing in soil testing is fruitful and economically advantageous.
2. Weed control
Do you want to increase the quality of forage? The basic formula to do so is controlling the weed. It can degrade the quality of grass and its overall quality because it eats the important nutrients meant for healthy grass. No matter how much nutrition and water you put in the grass, if weed is present in your pasture land, all the important nutrients will be redirected to weed. Hence, there is no point in putting in the effort.
Weed produces allelopathic substances that are toxic to crop production, and its instant removal is necessary. However, the identification of weed is the first step before removing it. Many couldn’t differentiate between healthy grass and weed; only an expert can do so. Therefore, hire an expert from a pasture management service who can identify weeds and find effective solutions to remove them. Crabgrass, purslane, pigweed, dandelion, and more are the common types of weeds found in grass.
There is an old saying that good fencing makes good neighbors because, without good boundaries, disputes may arise. Fencing is not an act of defense. Instead, it is a way to demarcate your grassland from the neighbors to avoid livestock coming from other fields.
4. Remove thatch formation
The dead roots and grass can form thatch between soil and green grasses. Every grassland has some patches of thatch, but the excessive thatch can degrade your pasture quality. Thatch formation happens due to poor soil aeration and drainage. Sometimes, excessive water collection and fertilizer can also lead to thatch formation. Cold soil temperature and the use of chemical pesticides also contribute to the reasons for thatch accumulation on the lawn.
So, how do you remove thatch? Basically, thatch is in layers; push-pull motion can rip out the thatch. If you are not an expert or have never thatched from the soil, performing this activity can be painful for you. Therefore, water your pasture land to introduce moisture to the soil. You can also buy a dethatching device; it has vertical blades that reach into the soil and pull up the excess thatch.
5. pasture renovation
Pasture renovation is good for many reasons. Old grasses cause bare spots, undesirable weeds, and forages which reduces the nutritious profile of pasture. Pasture renovation is also good for introducing new plant species to your pasture land; it can be beneficial for your livestock. Emphasize more on new species to alter and enhance the nutrition of pasture land. Try to match species already present on the field to establish consistency across the field. Let your livestock get habitual of grazing new types of species; later, you can replace the whole field with new species if it suits your animals.
The above tips, if applied dedicatedly, can help you manage your pasture land; if you face time-constraint, seek help from a pasture management service.