What do you need?

Use the search below to search the site or find your local unit office.

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Pasture & Forage - Animal Agriculture

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Calibrating Forage Seeding Equipment

Successful forage establishment requires that seed be planted at the recommended density. Planting lower than the required rate will result in thin stands with increased weed problems and lower yields. On the other hand, planting at a higher than recommended seed rate will significantly increase seeding costs. Calibration becomes more important as the cost of the seed increases.

Calibration charts can be found on most seeding equipment and they provide a good starting point. However, variations in seed size, weight, purity, and coatings, and performance of seeding equipment can cause large discrepancies between chart settings and actual seeding rates. Therefore, it is critical to know how much seed is actually being metered out for any given combination of variety, seeder, and field condition.

Dec 10, 2009 418-121
Good Production Practices: Name That Feed

To demonstrate the importance of properly labeling feeds.

Oct 28, 2015 APSC-98P
Herbage Quality, Biomass, and Animal Performance of Cattle Grazing. Part I: Forage Biomass, Botanical Composition, and Nutritive Values Nov 19, 2009 418-151
Herbage Quality, Biomass, and Animal Performance of Cattle Grazing. Part II: Animal Performance Nov 19, 2009 418-152
Large Round Bale Safety

This Extension publication covers the safety aspects of equipment used in large round bale packages such as: balers, front-end loaders, bale handling and transport devices. The key to safe and efficient systems for handling large round bales is an operator who knows the hazards involved and who follows safety practices that can prevent accidents. Operators must be constantly alert for situations that may cause injuries to themselves or others. Besides pain and suffering, accidents contribute to higher costs in terms of unnecessary downtime or costly machine repairs. Alertness and safety consciousness can result in more efficient and profitable baling and handling.

Oct 13, 2014 442-455 (BSE-172P)
Maintaining Healthy Horse Pastures

This publication is a one page poster regarding Maintaining Healthy Horse Pastures. Download pdf in right sidebar.

May 1, 2009 418-105
Management Tips for Round Bale Hay Harvesting, Moving, and Storage

Hay production and feeding is one of the most expensive components of forage-livestock systems. Specific management practices are necessary to maintain hay quality and minimize hay loss during harvest, transportation and storage of large round bales.

Large round bale packaging systems allow one person to harvest, store and feed large quantities of hay for small as well as large acreages. Proper management is required to maximize effectiveness because losses during baling, transport and storage of large round bales can far exceed the losses with rectangular bale systems.

Oct 9, 2014 442-454 (BSE-173P)
Nutritional Supplementation for Horses on Pasture in Virginia

Horse owners are becoming more educated about pasture management and forage selection. As a result, they are improving the quality of the forages their horses are grazing. Yet, even when a pasture is well managed, horses may require nutritional supplementation to meet their needs.

May 1, 2009 406-477
Options for Clearing Land: Pasture Establishment for Horses

You have considered the ramifications of clearing your land (To Clear or Not To Clear – That Is the Question, Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 465-340), and you have decided to go forward. Now this publication addresses a question many new landowners ask: How do I clear land?

May 1, 2009 465-341
Pesticide Applicator Manuals Nov 17, 2011 VTTP-2
Planning Fencing Systems For Controlled Grazing

Controlled grazing can be an economical way to provide forage to grazing animals. Utilizing pasture as a major portion of the forage plan can significantly reduce feed costs during the grazing season. Virginia's soils and climate are especially favorable for the growth of a wide range of productive, high-quality grasses and legumes suitable for grazing. However, optimizing a controlled grazing system requires careful planning and good management of a fencing system.

May 1, 2009 442-130
Soil Test Note No.3 - Liming and Fertilization of Cool-Season Forage Crops Aug 28, 2012 452-703 (CSES-16P)
Tests Available for Measuring Forage Quality

Forage quality has typically been determined by measuring the dry matter, crude protein, fiber, and estimated energy content. Forage testing labs are now able to estimate the actual digestibility of feeds by using newly available tests.

May 1, 2009 404-124
The Basics of Forage Testing

In order to have an accurate forage test for ration formulation, it is important to have a representative sample. The method of sampling varies with forage type. Silages (corn or hay crop) can be sampled either at harvest or at feed out. There is a slight reduction in dry matter and increase in fi ber during storage, but it is possible to use the analysis of the fresh material to indicate the quality after ensiling. If sampling fresh material at harvest, it is best to take three to four handfuls from every third load or more and place them in a container with all samples from the same field. Keep it covered to prevent drying. After mixing the composite, a sub-sample can be taken for analysis (only a pint or 100 grams is needed).

May 1, 2009 404-300
Virginia's Horse Pastures: Forage Establishment

Well-managed pastures can provide a relatively inexpensive and high-quality feed source for horses in Virginia. In contrast, poorly managed pastures are less adequate nutritionally and can reduce environmental quality. Proper pasture management starts with forage establishment. The establishment phase of forage production is critical since all other management practices depend on a healthy sod. Forage establishment begins long before the actual seeding. Successful forage establishment requires a great deal of planning and attention to detail.

May 1, 2009 418-103
Virginia's Horse Pastures: Forage Species for Horse Pastures

Virginia is located in the transition area between the cool temperate and subtropical zones of the United States. Thus, Virginia can produce a wide range of pasture plants, but varying temperatures and soil conditions require that different pasture species be grown in various parts of the state. Total moisture availability and temperatures are favorable to productive pasture, but shortterm drought combined with high temperatures often limits forage growth during the summer months. Choosing the correct forage species is the first step in successful pasture management. Forages used in Virginia's horse pastures should be:

May 1, 2009 418-102
Virginia's Horse Pastures: Grazing Management

Sound grazing management can decrease feeding expenses and stable cleaning and other chores, leaving more time for the recreational enjoyment of horses. In addition, pastures also help to maintain healthy horses by providing exercise and fresh air. Although properly managed pastures can be beneficial to both the horse and owner; improperly managed pastures can be a serious environmental concern. Poor grazing management results in the loss of groundcover that can lead to soil erosion, the degradation of water quality in neighboring streams and ponds, and increased weed pressure in pastures.

May 1, 2009 418-101
Virginia's Horse Pastures: Renovating Old Pastures

Pasture renovation can be defined as a series of practices that result in long-term improvement in the health, productivity, and botanical composition of pastures. These practices include interseeding legumes and grasses, fertilization, liming, weed control, and improved grazing management. Successful renovation requires planning, timelines, and attention to detail. Before reseeding pastures it is important to determine why the previous stand did not persist. It is essential that these problems be addressed in the long-term pasture management plan.

May 1, 2009 418-104