Is spring snowmelt coming soon? Snowmelt is perhaps the best time when you can uncover blooming buds through the snow. But, it also reveals the not-so-stellar pasture that the snow has been hiding all winter. Regardless, spring is the best time to improve the grazing land and ensure your animals get the best nutritional value.
If you are considering improving your grazing land, you must start by selecting the best pasture grass seeds. And, while all grass seeds might look the same, the opposite couldn’t be more true. Depending upon your geographical location and the type of animal you want to feed, there’s a lot you must consider when choosing the right pasture seeds. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right seeds for your animals.
Understanding Different Grazing Habits Of Cattle, Horses, And Camelids
Your start for the grass seeds starts with understanding the grazing habits of your animals. Factually, cattle, horses, and camelids like llamas have the same nutritional value. However, unlike a horse, cattle and camelids have different digestive tracks. They are usually multi-stomached animals that digest the food in various stages and ferment the fibers to break it down. Horses, on the other hand, are single-stomached like humans and dogs, making them more prone to digestive upsets.
Moreover, horses and camelids have well-aligned teeth and a flexible set of muzzles to selectively graze the grass. Cattle, however, use their flexible tongue to gather taller grasses. Means, horses and camelids can eat the grass selectively to satiate their taste buds. You must keep this in mind when planning to seed.
Planning Pasture Seeds And Renovation
Seed planning is a whole process. Before you shop for the best quality, highly-blended pasture seeds, you must determine what you want. Is it just a tiny overseeding touch-up you are going for or a full-blown reestablishment? Note that pasture seeding is not a permanent solution. Your pasture will degrade over time and will ask for regular maintenance. However, if your lawn or farmland has more weeds than grass (per square foot), a full-blown reestablishment is the way to go.
Pasture improvements and reestablishments must be divided into phases. To get started, you must remove all animals from the land and rehab one part of the land at a time to give yourself more flexibility.
When planning a pasture renewal, you should always start with soil testing. You can’t just determine the nutritional value of the PH level of the soil just by looking at it. You must begin by purchasing a soil testing kit.
Why Is Seed Quality An Important Factor?
Yes, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying grass seeds for pasture. But quality is perhaps the most important. In fact, quality determines the nutritional value of the grass. You must plan on providing a nutritionally balanced forage buffet to your animals so that they can live longer and represent lower digestive problems.
Make sure that the seeds represent edibility, digestibility, enough nutritional content, and anti-toxicity.
How To Select The Best Pasture Seeds?
You can choose from a multitude of grasses and legumes to satiate your animal’s grazing needs. So, instead of jumping straight to the plant type, start with evaluating your growing conditions.
In short, follow this approach:
- Soil type, fertility, and drainage will be essential in pasture planting success. So, to get started, select the right site. If your site is hindered by challenges like poor drainage, steep slopes, or excessive shade, choose a grass type that will go well with that soil type.
- Always shop for certified seeds. Besides providing enough nutritional value to your animals, certified seeds will have fewer weed seeds and guaranteed germination minimums.
- Always take a look at fescue. Fescue is a pretty popular grazing choice in many locations. However, it is quite likely to be affected by a fungi infection and jeopardize the health of your animals.
To plant the best quality grass for your animals, you must start by inspecting the soil, choosing certified seeds with a high nutritional value, and closely inspecting fescue. You must also make sure to manage and up-do the pasture grass, so it stays away from weeds or other infestations and offers a healthy meal to your animals.