1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Grant
  4. »Grazing

Grant County

Grazing and Pasture Management

Grazing Management Publications

Grazing Management Links

Pasture Recovery


Pasture Recovery Tips

  1. First of all provide adequate rest and recovery time.  This can be done by not grazing a pasture next year, or implementing a grazing system such as rotational grazing, managed intensive grazing or high density grazing.  These systems allow for periods of rest throughout the grazing season.
  2. Pay attention to range conditions on a regular basis.  You have probably heard of the take half/leave half rule.  This is not based on height but on the amount of biomass or leaf area.  The more severely grazed a plant is, the longer it takes to recover. 
  3. Healthy pastures should also have plant diversity.  Grasses provide the main part of the diet, but forbs and legumes provide additional protein and are beneficial to soil health as well.
  4. It is also important to leave adequate residue.  Bare ground does not capture or retain moisture as effectively as ground that is covered by standing plants or plant residue. 
  5. Move from continuous grazing to a more managed grazing system as mentioned above.  Continuous grazing is about 30% less efficient than managed grazing when done properly.  This can be a challenge, but well worth the change with increased productivity over time.
  6. Develop a drought management plan.  Keep accurate herd records and sell less productive or older cows.  A gradual sell off will allow you to last longer through a drought and still let you keep the best cows.

Types of Grazing Management & Definitions

1)  Management-intensive Grazing (MiG): The thoughtful use of grazing manipulation to produce a desired agronomic and/or animal result. This may include both rotational and continuous stocking depending upon the season. 

2)  Ultra High Stock Density Grazing or Mob Grazing: A mob is a group of animals. This term is used to indicate a high stock density.  This is probably the hottest new grazing strategy.  In this animals are allowed to graze small areas at a time and are moved 2 to 6 times a day.  This allows for more uniform grazing and causes more uniform distribution of dung, urine and trampling. 

3)  Continuous stocking: Allowing the animals access to an entire pasture for a long period without paddock rotation.  This is the stocking method used by a majority of producers.  Although convenient, it results in less forage production and stocking rates compared to previous mentioned methods.  It also results in certain areas of pasture being over-grazed while other areas are under-grazed.

4)  Rotational Grazing:  Rotating livestock from paddock to paddock throughout the grazing season.