Ben Bartlett, Grazing Specialist from Michigan State University, visited the Algoma Pasture Improvement Project site at a recent Algoma Soil & Crop Improvement Association (ASCIA) event on July 31, 2014. During the tour Ben clearly demonstrated that the current pasture forage was a reflection of how the livestock were managed. A short presentation was given on the difficult topic of managing weather variability which included the following advice from Ben:
- Know your plant physiology such as shade tolerance, energy storage in plant roots, and warm and cool season grass preferences.
- Understand that no particular year will be average, so don’t bank on an average year. Know the range of your variability to help understand the extent of your risk.
- Adjust your herd size to reflect the range in weather variability and store more than enough winter forage to carry into the next year.