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Feeding livestock can be expensive. Stockpiling forage is one way to reduce the cost.
Nashville, Ark. – Are you looking for a way to reduce the cost of your winter feed
bill? The cost of hay and purchased feed for winter feeding is the largest expense
of maintaining a livestock herd.
All too often, producers finish harvesting hay in the fall and then begin feeding
it soon afterward. Adopting pasture management practices that extend the grazing season
avoids investing more cost into forage that could be grazed instead of being harvested
for hay. In Arkansas, the use of stockpiled forages has reduced winter feeding expenses
for producers across the entire state.
Stockpiling forage is the practice of accumulating forage growth intended for grazing
in a later season. Stockpiling forages beginning in late summer works well in Arkansas
for providing late fall and winter grazing. During the spring and summer, stockpiling
is seldom advantageous, except during severe drought, because forages become mature
and poor quality due to stem and seedhead production. However, cooling night temperatures
and shorter days of late summer and fall tend to reduce forage fiber content, thus
promoting leafy, high quality forage.
Tall fescue and bermudagrass are the most commonly stockpiled forages, but bahiagrass
and dallisgrass have also been stockpiled successfully. Other forages may produce
good fall growth but deteriorate quickly after frost. Some forages, such as crabgrass,
are excellent quality during the growing season but become unpalatable and degrade
quickly after a killing frost and are often refused by cattle. Bermudagrass is the
most popular perennial warm-season grass in Arkansas. It is persistent, productive
and is adapted to a wide range of conditions. It produces most of its annual yield
during late spring and summer with little growth occurring during early spring and
fall. However, research in Arkansas showed stockpiled bermudagrass can produce significant
forage yield in late summer that can be grazed during late fall to reduce hay feeding.
Bahiagrass and dallisgrass have similar growing seasons as bermudagrass and can also
be stockpiled for fall grazing by following the same recommendations as for stockpiling
Download the publication for more information, or you can send an email to email@example.com. Howard County Extension office is still working and is there for all the residences
in Howard County during this time.
By Samantha Horn County Extension Agent - AgricultureThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Samantha Horn County Extension Agent - AgricultureU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.