To Mow or Not to Mow - Input needed!

shepherdO

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Question re: leaving standing grass in the winter. Should I be mowing what's left of the grass, maybe just before the first snows, or leaving it standing? Ie, if the sheep aren't going to eat the tall yellowed grass, is it better to mow it down when/before the snow comes, so that there's nothing to get in the way of the new growth in the spring? I've never had this much standing 'dead' grass going into winter before, and I want to set my pastures up for success in the spring!
PS - I've posted pictures of my fields in the thread 'Rate my Fields'
 

Latestarter

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IMHO, I don't think it will make that big a difference unless you plan to fertilize or in some other way place additives on the pasture, in which case I'd say mow it. I don't know and am just expressing my thoughts. I would guess if you were to mow it, the grass could start decomposition faster to add those nutrients back to the ground... Maybe mow 1/2 and then compare results next year?
 

CntryBoy777

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Personally, I'd mow it....but, I live in Mississippi and that is quite a bit south of ya. However, if ya leave it the dead and dying plant material will block and absorb much of the warming sunshine come Spring and give your new growth a late start to greening up and growing. Since it is already spent, ya can start breaking the old down to return nutrients back into the soil to aid in the growth come Spring. If this is what ya have for them to graze now....I'd mow most and leave an area or 2 for them to graze until freezing or snow is in your forecast and then cut it before it comes in on ya.....:)
 

Mike CHS

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I started to write what I do until I saw you live in Canada and what works for the deep south U.S.A. is probably worthless advice to you. I cut mine but the reason I do is that the taller grass is of a type that our sheep only eat when it is young so all it is doing is shading out the cool season grass that is starting to come now. I do cut it 6-8" high so there isn't a layer of decomposing grass shading it worse than the tall grass.
 

Sheepshape

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Over here we just cut very high to remove the worst of the dead stuff before using the 'Weed Wiper' to treat reeds, rushes etc.

Probably not critical either way.
 
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