What to do with overgrown pasture?

ReluctantFarmer

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I’ve got a 3-4 acre pasture that wasn’t cut for hay, and hasn’t been grazed this summer. I did run a brush hog over it in May-ish. It has some Johnson grass. It is mainly fescue AFAIK. It is November now, and we’ve had some below freezing temps. The grass is 4-6 ft tall in places. It’s mainly brown, but there is green grass about 8-12 inches tall underneath.

Question: what to do now?

I want to get it to where I can put some animals on it. But reading all the post about various ailments that are caused by grasses and such scares the bejezzus out of me.

I don’t need the grass immediately, but I don’t want to ruin the field or have a fire hazard. Also a bit more grass would be nice to have.

I had considered setting the brush hog high and cutting the brown dead stuff, then turning a few animals in on it to start eating the green underneath?

They have gotten some loose mineral on Friday. I can give some more also
 
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greybeard

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It has some Johnson grass.
If, you've had a hard freeze (you stated "below freezing temps") then the danger of prussic acid should be over. Beware tho, of a warming trend where the JG begins to grow again, as when stressed by the next frosty night will again produce PA.

I had considered setting the brush hog high and cutting the brown dead stuff, then turning a few animals in on it to start eating the green underneath?
The normal procedure for cattle close to your latitude is to topcut the over height stuff and let new growth begin so it can be grazed late fall. Those that I know in Ky/Tenn/Va that do this, did so back in late Sept thru mid Oct.
 

ReluctantFarmer

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If, you've had a hard freeze (you stated "below freezing temps") then the danger of prussic acid should be over. Beware tho, of a warming trend where the JG begins to grow again, as when stressed by the next frosty night will again produce PA.


The normal procedure for cattle close to your latitude is to topcut the over height stuff and let new growth begin so it can be grazed late fall. Those that I know in Ky/Tenn/Va that do this, did so back in late Sept thru mid Oct.
Thanks @greybeard , I think I will top cut it like you said. I’m usually a day late and a dollar short, so it’s sounds like I’m right on schedule :)
 
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