Winter Pasture Grazing
Okay, I am poised to do it this year! Since we moved to dry, sunny Idaho five summers ago I have been hoping to do some limited winter grazing of our seven-acre hay field during times when the soils weren’t wet or soggy. It seemed possible since we have such a big pasture and our winters are usually sunny and dry, albeit cold. Unfortunately, even with seven acres of pasture, it still is dormant pasture and in past winters I was quickly at that critical three to four inches mark on the grass; grazing beyond that point would compromise the integrity of my pastures for the coming growing season. So, thus far I’ve not made it past early December for winter pasture grazing.

This year I have a new plan: I only hayed my pastures once (instead of the usual three times.) I continued my usual routine of careful rotational grazing and pasture management, with the intent of stockpiling grass to be available sparingly over the winter. The result is that I have a lot of grass stockpiled right now going into the late fall. Very promising! I am hopeful that this winter I will be able to utilize my pastures without compromising their health for next growing season.

Here’s what I did:

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