Pastures and rangelands have greened up dramatically with recent widespread rainfall, but an SDSU specialist is warning against grazing off the lush growth before a hard freeze.
"Extensive grazing is likely to damage pasture plants," says Roger Gates, SDSU extension range specialist.
Grass plants that are not allowed to produce at least four new leaves will not be able to restore the reserves depleted in producing new growth. Severe grazing followed by freezing temperatures will result in plants with low reserves. Spring growth will be slowed, total growing season production may be reduced, and some plant mortality may result.
Reduce stocking rates or delay grazing until after a hard freeze so that plants are dormant, Gates advises.