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Don’t turnout cattle too soon


Unseasonably warm temperatures have led to a “green up” of pastures.  

University of Illinois Extension beef specialist, Travis Meteer says producers may want to turn cattle out now, but they should be patient…

“If we kick cows out or start to graze early, we know that’s gonna stress that plant, rob from those roots.”  He says, “And last thing we want to do is inhibit yearlong pasture productivity and reduce our grass stand at the very beginning of the season.” 

Meteer tells Brownfield feed shortages could play a factor in the timing of turnout this spring…

“I know many of our producers in Illinois have struggled with availability of stored feeds like hay and hay shortages this year,” he says, “and so many of them are probably hoping for a quicker green up to kind of help them amend that shortage from a feed stuff standpoint.”

Meter says if producers need to turn cattle out early, they should use a sacrificial paddock until pasture conditions stabilize. 

Don’t turnout cattle too soon