Developing Quality Livestock Through Pasture Improvement

— Written By

Graham County has a rich history in beef cattle production. Over the years, as producers have retired or slowed down, they have handed their operations off to family members or leased the land to other interested livestock producers. One problem associated with this change is that new producers have thus far done a poor job with weed management in pastures. In addition, some invasive weeds, such as buttercup, multiflora rose, and Chinese privet, have become increasingly problematic because they readily spread to neighboring pastureland. This is particularly true of buttercup, which leads to many phone calls and farm visits for N.C. Cooperative Extension. Buttercup is not edible by any animal, spreads rapidly, and can quickly claim a pasture, thus rendering it useless for grazing.

In cooperation with soil and water, N.C. Cooperative Extension began working with livestock producers in Graham County to offer weed solutions for poorly managed pastureland. Site visits were made to each interested individual, a solution was recommended, which often resulted in a new or reformed spray program or changes in cultural practices related to growing conditions. In some cases, an NC State University specialist was contacted as a consultant. Once a plan was made, Graham County Soil and Water provided assistance in the form of cost-share or physical implementation of the program. As a result of these efforts, twelve producers saved around a $1000 each and 90 acres of pasture have been improved.

If you are interested in pasture renovation, please call the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Graham County Center at 828-479-7979.