Farm Store | articles | Fall Pasture Management Checklist

Fall Pasture Management Checklist

Fall pasture grassWith fall around the corner it's time to start thinking about ways to improve your pasture production for the next growing season. After a summer full of high temperatures and inconsistent rain, it's important to do a late summer evaluation of your pastures to see how well they handled the season's weather. Upon examination you can decide whether you want to restore or renovate your pastures.

Pasture Restoration

One of the easiest ways to increase pasture productivity is through restoration. Rather than starting from scratch, a little TLC can help bring your pasture back to life. Restoration can be accomplished through fertilization, liming and weed management.

Your first step should be to test your soil to better understand the needs of your pasture. Southern States Agronomist Ken Sechler says, "Soil testing is important to determine soil pH and appropriate lime requirements, as well as fertilizer needs (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), based on the size of your pasture."

Weed management is also a key component of pasture restoration. Weed problems usually exist when there is improper soil pH or unbalanced soil fertility. "Late summer or fall is a great time to consider weed control for biannual and perennial weeds," notes Sechler. "Herbicides often perform better in the fall on biannual and perennial weeds, due to herbicide transport down to roots, as plants prepare for winter dormancy."

If desired grasses and legumes have perished due to drought or thinned as a result of normal summer use consider overseeding. Overseeding replenishes the stand of grass and legumes within an existing pasture area. The best time to overseed is from mid August to September.

Pasture Renovation

Did your lush green pasture turn into a haven for weeds? Has it been overgrazed this summer? If so, you may want to start fresh and renovate your pasture. Renovation is the complete destruction of an existing pasture and reestablishment of that pasture. The goal of renovation is to free your pasture of weeds and allow new plants to take root.

If possible, seed in the early fall months. Warmer soil temperatures will facilitate rapid seed germination. As with restoration, it's important to conduct soil tests to gather information about your soil's needs. Matching soil test results to seed selection will ensure plant survival over time.

When you see your seeds start to sprout, you may be tempted to use your pasture for grazing again. Avoid the temptation! Newly planted grasses and legumes need time to develop a strong root system. If grazed too early, plants may die and be replaced by unwanted weeds or less desirable species. Immature roots cannot handle the stresses of grazing and trampling caused by turned out animals.

Work On Your Pasture In The Fall

Regardless of whether you chose to restore or renovate your pasture fall is a prime time to make the effort. According to Sechler, "University research supports fall fertilization as standard approach to forage production as it increases root mass and provides energy for spring growth." Fall seeding is also positioned to yield well the following spring as they have had a 4-5 month head start on spring seedlings.

Have additional questions about what to do with your pasture this fall or want to conduct a soil sample? Visit your local Southern States store or contact an Agronomist today.

Shop Grass Seed

Related Products

More Products Like This:
Grid View
List View
  • Super S Super Trac 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid 5 gal

    SKU 05200131
    Super S Super Trac 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid is designed to lubricate the transmission, differential and final drive gears in tractors and implements. The fluid provides extreme pressure and anti-wear protection for tractor transmission, axles and hydraulic pumps and protects against rust and corrosion.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Shell Rotella T Heavy Duty Motor Oil SAE 15W-40 1 gal

    SKU 05200022
    Shell Rotella T Heavy Duty Motor Oil helps control wear, deposits and emissions to continuously adapt to the needs of any engine. This triple protection oil is great for road vehicles and farm equipment, and exceeds API CJ-4 requirements. Designed to provide extra performance for newer or older engines through advanced deposit and sludge control, piston cleanliness, and enhanced viscosity control.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Professional Horse Pasture Mixture South 25 lb

    SKU 02142115
    Southern States Professional Horse Pasture Mixture South features a blend of cool season grasses and white clover. The mixture is suited for the Transition Zone and south, where good footing and quality forage production are required.
    to see pricing & availability
  • WD-40 With Smart Straw 11 oz

    SKU 07000493
    WD-40 with Smart Straw is great for stopping squeaky door hinges and lubricating sticky cabinets and drawers. Use it to eliminate scuff marks from tile floors, to remove water spots and mildew on mirrors and windows, to clean dirt marks and crayon from walls and floors. The permanently attached straw sprays two ways, simply flip it up for a precision stream and down for a regular spray action.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Professional Beef Pasture Mixture 25 lb

    SKU 02142117
    Southern States Professional Beef Pasture Mixture was created to optimize animal performance and maximize per acre return. This quality pasture mixture contains a mix of orchardgrass, fawn fescue, timothy, medium red clover and white clover. Southern States Professional Beef Pasture Mixture is also a good choice for hay producers who want a high-quality, balanced hay.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Horse Pasture Mix 50 lb

    SKU 02142110
    Southern States Horse Pasture Mix is a perennial pasture mixture consisting of orchardgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, tetraploid ryegrass, ladino clover and timothy. Use at a rate of 15 to 20 lbs per acre.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Professional Horse Pasture Mixture North 25 lb

    SKU 02142113
    Southern States Professional Horse Pasture Mixture North features a blend of cool season grasses and white clover to provide optimum forage quality, persistence and footing. The mixture is suited for intense management in colder environments throughout the Transition Zone and north.
    to see pricing & availability
  • Southern States Hallmark Orchardgrass 50 lb

    SKU 02132431
    Southern States Hallmark Orchardgrass is a hardy perennial bunchgrass that grows 2 to 3 feet tall. Its major uses include pasture and hay, and forage quality is high under good pasture management. Plant Southern States Hallmark Orchardgrass seed in early fall and it will perform well for your grazing livestock come early spring, even in pastures with moderate to low drainage.
    to see pricing & availability

Find Your Nearest Southern States Location

Sales & Offers