Water should be an important part of your managed grazing system

Jeff McCutcheon, OSU Extension Ag & Natural Resources Educator, Knox County (originally published in Farm & Dairy, 6/15/06)

Over the years working with graziers, I have come to a realization. The most limiting factor in managed grazing systems is water. No, not rainfall, we can not control the weather. I am talking about water for livestock.

It is funny, one of the first things we teach children about raising animals is they need plenty of clean fresh water at all times. But as adults managing grazing, water is one of the last things we consider in the system.

Earlier this spring I visited with a young producer who wanted to mange his livestock grazing. He had many questions about what forages to plant, types of fencing and the schedule for moving the livestock. In a nutshell I suggested he manage what was there, use portable electric initially and to move based on forage growth. Continue reading