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Pasture Quality Variation Throughout The Grazing Season

It is important for dairy producers and their nutritionists to have an idea of the nutritional quality of the pasture they are providing to their cows. The ideal way to assess forage quality is to gather a representative forage sample from a given area, send it to a commercial lab and wait patiently for a detailed report of nutrient composition. Unfortunately, the cost of forage testing can be a limitation to producers and the time it takes to get results prevents its use to monitor pastures as they are grazed. On-going research projects conducted by the USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management
Research Unit in State College, PA can provide examples of monthly pasture quality for grazing dairy farms in this region.