Friday, March 13, 2015

Transitioning pastures from winter to spring

March and early April is a good time to begin transitioning pastures from winter to spring and one way to do that is with frost seeding.
“We need to get days where that temperature is getting in to the 40s and then falling back down below 30 at night,” said Wayne County Ohio Extension educator Rory Lewandowski. “We need to have actual freezing and thawing happening.”
Rory says spring is also a good time to have a soil test and while applying nutrients is possible we need to be careful to not apply when field conditions are too wet causing compaction. Lewandowski says it’s also important to not to over apply potassium.
“We know that in the spring of the year our grass plants can luxury consume potassium, they’ll take it up in preference to magnesium and then our plants, short of magnesium, our animals graze and we run into that condition called grass staggers or grass tetany and it relates back to that imbalance and not have enough magnesium.”
And while the temptation is to put animals out to pasture the first sign of green, Rory says it’s best to give pastures enough time to establish a couple of inches of growth to get it off to a good start.

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