The Washington Times-Herald


October 8, 2013

Pasture conditions have improved from last month

Technology can be very good, but it can also be challenging. I fought the computer yesterday while trying to type up a document. It apparently did not agree with my spelling of a word and kept trying to change it. OK, it was not the usual use of the word, but it got the point across I wanted. Our pastures also try to point out problems to us; I challenge you to observe and try and figure out what it is trying to tell you.

I am pleased with a lot of the pasture I have seen the past couple weeks. Pasture condition has improved some from last month with the addition of just a little rain. Some areas in the state still lack adequate soil moisture for good regrowth; hopefully it will come before the days get too short.

I was in Missouri earlier this month and some of the farms I visited reminded me quite a bit of a lot of our pastures last year. It surprises me sometimes how quick we tend to forget some things, seeing these drought stricken pastures quickly gave me flashbacks of our August and September last year. We talked last month about maintaining cover and how important it is. During a high moisture spring, maintaining adequate moisture should be easy, doing it under drought conditions certainly is more challenging but even more important. I was reminded of this on this trip as I observed the differences of cover and stand density from place to place, to the amount of live, growing, nutritious forages available. Under extreme conditions, differences stand out more; good adequate cover and good plant density, and remarkably, some green growing forage still present. Where there was soil showing, little organic matter on the surface, moisture still evaporating, and poor plant density, the pastures just stood still. It is remarkable how resilient the soil really is if we protect it. Never underestimate the power of adequate cover!

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