Having enough forage on hand for the fall grazing or winter feeding season is sort of like the best time to plant a tree — it should have been planned for a long time ago. But even the best of intentions got waylaid this year throughout much of Ontario because it Just. Didn’t. Rain.
Many farmers report getting only half to 60% of second and third cuts of hay, and many pastures went nearly fully dormant by mid-summer. What can you do now to add a few weeks of grazing this fall or maybe sneak out some extra days in the spring?
I caught up with Ontario’s new forage and grazier specialist, Thomas Ferguson, at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show to talk grazing crop residues (go talk to your neighbours!), written-off crops, and what you can plant late in the season to capture a few weeks of sun in the spring to give those grazed and dry stressed pastures a longer rest.