11 ways to reduce pugging in your pasture
Pugging soil does enormous damage to it, reducing pasture yield by 20-80% for four to eight months, or longer if not remedied. Follow these tips to reduce the amount of pugging this winter.
• Graze wet paddocks early in winter.
• Paddocks that have a greater risk of getting too wet to be grazed without damage, should be grazed before the high risk part of the season.
• The most effective grazing strategy, if pasture cover is high, is to allow stock onto pasture for 6-8 hours – this will supply the maintenance levels of feed required – then stand them off on a pad or in a paddock where damage to pasture means you are going to take remedial action anyway. If pasture quality is not good enough, you may also need to feed supplements.
• Shift stock before daybreak and at the same time of the day if possible, as stock movements increase after daybreak, especially if stock are hungry.
• Walk cows over the longest pasture.
• Start grazing from the back of the paddock – back fence where cows have already grazed, and have sacrifice laneways down the sides.
• Make breaks as square as possible rather than strip grazing.
• Use a temporary back fence so cows aren’t walking back over previously grazed areas.
• Aim to feed cows well as they will be more settled and walk less.
• Feed out supplements like hay or silage on long grass, and/or under fences.
• Feed supplements at night, when cows are naturally more settled, then let them out onto fresh pasture in the morning.
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