Ranchers should be proactive in protecting pastures during dry times

A rancher is encouraging others to be proactive during the dry times bu prioritizing grazing management.

Jimmy Emmons is a soil health mentoring coordinator in Oklahoma. He says to keep the “grazing rest period” for a pasture no-less than three days because the grass will leaf out again after that.

He says that the more of that you do, the better your soil gets and the more shade you have to protect it from the sun. Going from spring to summer, he says that it is important to protect pastures and get a rotational grazing plan in place.

“To protect them pastures you really need to do a rotational grazing plan. Watch that height, try to keep that up there to keep that shade, keep that grass really growing to the best of your ability in these dry times and not overgraze,” he explains. “You know, it’s tempting to eat that grass off to lower the fuel load in these time periods, but you’re really shooting yourself in the foot a little bit as we go into the summer. We really need that to absorb that sunlight, and when we do catch these rains, we know that with this whiplash weather there going to be large events, there’s going to be 1,2,3,5 inches at a time, and so we do need that armor on the ground to protect it.”

He says that getting educated on what soil health means, and monitoring where rain falls is essential to developing a drought plan.


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