Does anyone have a favorite pasture mix for colder climates like Michigan, either pre-mixed or mixed yourself on the farm?
I've been reading lately about having different pastures with cool season and warm season grasses and then rotating through them at different times of the year. We only have 28 to 30 acres of pasture, so I'm not sure if we can pull this off.
I think you can pull it off. We have (for the moment) 8 acres of cool season grasses and 2 acres of bermuda.
I think that fescue is probably the best grass for cold climates. Our orchard grass has held up but not grown at all since mid Oct. The newly planted fescue did grow some and I read alot about how well fescue does for stockpiling. The alfalfa on our farm dried up and shriveled the ladino clover is still green though.
We planted a small amount (25 lbs on 8 acres) of Max Q fescue over our first year planting of Orchard, alfalfa, and ladino clover. Next time we're thinking of planting 1/2 orchard, 1/4 timothy, and 1/4 Max Q fescue and then using ladino and med. red clovers and maybe just a little alfalfa. lol We want a good variety, we didn't want K31 Fescue and we wanted plenty of legumes. I believe that over time, the Max Q will replace the timothy in the field. If money was no object we would probably plant all Max Q and clovers.
Post by Honeycreek Dexters on Jan 29, 2009 20:24:18 GMT -5
Tony I think I understand what you are asking but I wonder if you have talked to your local Ag extension officer. You are in Mich. a lot of folks on this board are from all over the US, Can. & the UK. What they like is what works for them and their animals where they are. That may not be the same for you. You have entirely different soils and that plays a big part on the grasses and legumes. In some soils in some areas some fescue can actually harm your animals. The same species fescue in different soil types in different areas make the best feed you can have. Mixing forages in the same pasture is a good way to insure you have something growing all the time. But I believe for the best local area information, you cant go wrong by at least talking to a local professional that has intimate knowledge about bovine nutrition and also what will give you the best nutrition for your animals. Just my 2 cents, others may have other opinions.
Honeycreek, I agree with you and have actually talked to the Michigan State University extension office; just a few times though, about other topics. I'd like to have them come out and identify what we've got growing now and maybe suggest a good mix for us to plant.
Hopefully with the suggestions from this forum and from my own research I can be somewhat informed the next time I talk to the extension office.
We planted all of it last year so we'll get started earlier this year with grazing but Bermuda doesn't grow until the soil temp is 60F or over when it starts to cool off at night it seemed to stop completely. I don't know if bermuda would work for you but I bet some warm season grass would.
We leave the animals in each paddock for only one day. Then we move them on to a new paddock made by running a single strand of electric polywire across the field with step in posts. The biggest issue with this type of grazing is water. You can use lanes to the water, or hoses to the paddocks. The more you move them, the better, even if it was once a week.
OH and.... we used Max Q fescue because it is hardy but does NOT have an ill effect on cattle and horses. It's pricey though!
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2009 10:20:23 GMT -5 by wstevenl
Post by Honeycreek Dexters on Jan 30, 2009 12:08:35 GMT -5
Tony we are about 300 miles apart but you are a ways north of me. But here my extin. offcr. suggested after soil test and correction 6 lbs per acre orchard, 6 lbs per acre Timothy, 12 lbs per acre clover. Now is that my favorite, don't have a clue. Just know that is what the pro's said would work best and my animals seem to be doing just fine. And by the way it makes great hay if you get to take a cutting. But this is a PASTURE mix not a recommendation for a hay field.