Forage Management Online Resource Center

Includes:
AZ, CO, ID, MT, ND, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY

Today’s cattle business offers unprecedented opportunities for grazing based operations. And now — perhaps more than ever — profitability starts with grass. Markets will reward those who produce forage efficiently and use it to put pounds on marketable cattle, whether they be calves or heavy feeders. It’s an incentive — for the foreseeable future — to manage forage well.

Check out the areas that interest you along the left side of the site. You’ll find weed and brush species information, product detail, treatment methods, how-to advice and much more. Be sure to contact us if we can help you achieve your rangeland and pasture management goals.

Videos

It's a New Age for Forage

It's a New Age for Forage Video Thumbnail

  • Higher corn prices raise the value of forage. It becomes cheaper to put cattle gains on grass rather than in the feedlot.
  • As the value of forage has increased, the value of forage management has increased.

Grow More Grass. It's Worth More!

Grow More Grass Video Thumbnail

  • These cattlemen recognize the ever-increasing value of optimizing forage in their operations.
  • Weed control, sound fertility and proper grazing management each contribute to increased forage production and pasture utilization.

Cows Prefer Clean Grass. Even Over Weedy Clover.

  • Prior to weed control, cows grazed the pasture relatively uniformly and continued to do so during the first month after treatment.
  • Two months after the herbicide application, grazing patterns shifted. Cows grazed 77 percent of the time on the treated half and only 23 percent of the time on the untreated area. Those results remained constant throughout the duration of the grazing season.

Related Topics

AUM Analyzer

The AUM Analyzer is an excellent tool that can help you determine the expected increase in forage production due to weed control or other rangeland improvement, such as crossfencing. By comparing improved and unimproved areas, you can figure forage yields or carry through the calculation to compare potential stocking rates and, ultimately to make a more informed decision about your grazing resource investment.

What is the AUM Analyzer?

The AUM Analyzer helps determine the amount of the forage produced and the increase in stocking rates as a result of weed management, or other rangeland improvement. It provides a step-by-step description of site selection, a method for estimating forage production and for converting the production data into the number of animals you can feed.

Why use the AUM Analyzer?

The decision to spend money managing rangeland weeds is difficult. To understand the economic benefits, you must know the amount, duration and quality of the livestock forage resulting from weed control compared to no weed control.

Who should use the AUM Analyzer?

The AUM Analyzer should be used by livestock growers considering large-scale weed management for the purpose of forage production. It can also be used to balance stocking rates with forage production.

How does the AUM Analyzer work?

The AUM Analyzer compares the forage production and stocking rates of areas where weeds have been controlled to weed-infested areas. The increase in usable forage is converted into the number of animals you can raise. You can determine the value of controlling weeds by comparing the numbers of animals that you can produce from both areas.

What materials are required?

Material needs are simple. You will need:

  • Hoop
  • Grass Clippers
  • Hand-held spring scale that weighs in grams. A 500-gram scale works best.
  • Small to medium-size grocery bags.

Make a hoop from 1/4-inch coated cable available at most farm and ranch supply outlets for about $5. Purchase about 93 inches of cable and fasten the ends to each other with a 1/4-inch cable ferrule. The cable is clamped in the ferrule with a chisel or heavy screwdriver and hammer.

A 500-gram scale can be purchased from forestry, animal health or surveying companies for approximately $40.

Site Selection

Select two comparable sites. Choose one site infested with weeds. Then, choose another site where weeds have been controlled. It is important that both sites have similar soil, slope and grasses.

Note: For the most accurate comparison, vegetation should be at maturity and no grazing should have occurred. Sample areas in your pasture that haven't been grazed, such as a fenced area where animals are excluded.

Select two comparable sites. Choose one site infested with weeds. Then, choose another site where weeds have been controlled. It is important that both sites have similar soil, slope and grasses.

Note: For the most accurate comparison, vegetation should be at maturity and no grazing should have occurred. Sample areas in your pasture that haven't been grazed, such as a fenced area where animals are excluded.

Step 1: Pre-weight empty bags.

Weigh an empty paper bag with the scale in grams. Write the weight on the bag; this is needed for worksheet calculations. Clearly label bags to distinguish which came from either weedy or weed-free areas.

Step 2: Toss hoop and clip forage.

Randomly toss hoop and let it land flat on the ground. Clip plants within the hoop to ground level. Sort out all litter (last year's growth), roots or soil. Separate weedy material and place only forage in the pre-weight paper sacks.

Step 3: Place clippings in bags and weigh with gram scale.

Mark weights on each bag.

Step 4: Complete calculations on worksheets.

To complete the worksheet calculations, you will need:

  • The weight in grams from your clippings that you marked on each sack.
  • A calculator.

The AUM Analyzer Worksheet (49KB PDF) is available as a downloadable PDF.

Legal requirements

Label precautions apply to forage treated with Chaparral and ForeFront HL and to manure from animals that have consumed treated forage within the last three days. Consult the label for full details.

®™Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow

Chaparral and ForeFront HL are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state.

Always read and follow label directions.