Winter Grazing

Planting Time
Itís fall, the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing to beautiful hues of red, yellow and orange. It is also time to plant winter grazing. If this seems like a bad idea to you consider the following: The more green forage you have in your pasture the less hay you will have to buy. Green forage is high in water content and reduces your horsesí chance of colic due to impaction during cold weather. Green forage is more nutritious than dried hay, softer and easier to chew for older horses and high in vitamin A content.
Your land will thank you as well. Well established crops reduce erosion during heavy rains. Green fields of grass provide a welcome source of color in a bleak winter landscape.

You can plant several types of seed for winter grazing including oats, rye and rye grass. Ryegrass grows like grass, does not produce a long stalk and the seed is readily available at a variety of stores.

There is a program called the Soil Conservation Program that is administered through the County Extension Service. Most counties offer a no-till planter that can be used to plant fields and pastures. A no-till planter is a piece of equipment that creates a tiny furrow, places the seed in the furrow and then covers the seed back over. The seed is evenly spaced and is not available for birds to scavenge.

Meet Mr. Gene Brunson from Reynolds , GA. Mr. Brunson operates the no-till planter for the Ocmulgee Soil Conservation District. He travels with his equipment to plant fields. The Ocmulgee district includes Crawford, Taylor, Talbot, Peach & Bibb counties. Other counties should have a planter as well. You can arrange to have Mr. Brunson plant your fields if you so desire. The fee for planting is $20 per acre for fields less than 25 acres. You will need to furnish your own seed. We recommend 40-50 pounds of seed per acre when using ryegrass.

To contact Mr. Brunson:
I hope that youíll consider adding winter grazing for your farm, I think youíll enjoy the many benefits.