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Stockpiling Forages

Preparing for your winter feeding by stockpiling forages now.

Nashville, Ark. – While it seems like there is still plenty of growing season left, now is the time to start planning for your winter grazing program. Preparing for winter feeding is more than just putting up hay and hoping that you have enough. Stockpiling forages is a reliable, cost-effective method for extending the grazing season.

Bermudagrass and fescue are commonly used for stockpiling, but other grasses like Bahia grass and dallisgrass may be used. Farm demonstrations have consistently shown positive savings when comparing the cost of stockpiling to the cost of harvesting and feeding hay.

There are specific steps recommended to increase the likelihood of good, stockpiled forage growth. For bermudagrass, you must remove existing forage residue in late July to early August leaving a stubble height of 2-3 inches. Then, fertilize with 50-60 pounds of nitrogen per acre in late August. Defer any grazing until late October to allow growth to accumulate. Finally, strip or rotationally graze the stockpiled forage starting in late October. The management for stockpiling fescue varies slightly from the management for bermudagrass. For fescue, remove the forage residue in late August to early September leaving a stubble height of 3-4 inches. Fertilize with 50-60 pounds of nitrogen per acre in late September. Defer any grazing until November to allow growth to accumulate. Strip or rotational graze starting in late November.

Stockpiling forages is a good option for fall grazing but timing the fertilizer application is important. Other options may include planting pearl millet or brown top millet at the end of August. Brown top millet grows very fast and may provide grazing in as little as 30 days. Planting oats or brassicas in early September may also work for grazing in November and December.

For more information about stockpiling forages, you can contact the Howard County Extension office at 870-845-7517 or find helpful fact sheets on our website at The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.



By Dawson Bailey
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Dawson Bailey
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


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