by Jesse Bussard
This winter was one of the mildest on record and this spring seems to be starting off in similar fashion with unseasonably warm temperatures. Here in Kentucky we are nearly two to three weeks ahead of schedule in our growing season.
This earlier growing season has led cool-season forage grasses and small grains to reach optimum feed quality at a more rapid rate. Ray Smith, extension forage specialist at University of Kentucky, said this is the earliest forages have matured in the seven years he’s been at the university.
This situation creates a need for beef producers to implement a slightly different grazing management strategy than they may usually consider. To take advantage of this earlier grazing opportunity, producers will need to think outside the box. This is where a little knowledge about plant growth cycles and grazing management can come in handy.