Summer grazing also comes from annual warm-season grasses such as sorghum-sudan and pearl millet. However, they must be planted when there is moisture in the soil. “If you wait until going into a drought, it’s too late to plant supplemental forages,” Kallenbach says.
All forages benefit from managed grazing. With rotational grazing, dividing large pastures into grazing paddocks, less forage is lost to trampling. The rest periods in management-intensive grazing boost production of forage per acre.
Forage that cows waste in continuously grazed pastures could have been used to replace high-priced baled hay.
Dry-weather grazing may become the new norm, according to some climatologists looking at long-range forecasts.
Mixed-species pastures with managed grazing may become part of the survival of beef herds in Missouri.
For Kallenbach, better grazing plans include alfalfa. It has a bright future on more Missouri farms, he says. Even if drought doesn’t come, alfalfa producers have high-tonnage forage to be grazed, baled or put up as balage.
If not needed on the home farm, alfalfa becomes a highly marketable feed. Someone, somewhere, will need it and be willing to pay big bucks for it.