Grow More Grass
Weeds and brush can deplete a pasture's carrying capacity by as much as two-thirds and reduce forage quality. Control boosts forage nutrient value and crude protein content, plus helps extend stocking rates and the grazing season. Generally, grass replaces weeds controlled pound for pound. This helps cut feed costs. You should also protect your herd from poisonous weeds and thorny brush. Better pastures help improve daily gains, cow body condition, replacement heifer maturity, conception rates, milk quality and weaning weights. Bottom line: The more good grass you grow, the lower your cost of production.
Often, a combination of practices works best in managing a complex ecosystem such as grassland. Integrated techniques include: weed control, proper grazing, herbicides, fertility analysis, cooperative land management, biological control measures, multiple-species grazing, prescribed burning, tillage, computer mapping and regular monitoring. Select techniques that best suit your terrain, climate, seasonal needs and weed or brush spectrum.
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, make a more informed decision about your grazing resource investment.