Pasture management refers to grass farming. Think of the grasses as your crop, while you use animals to harvest.
Pastures should be looked at as crops that need care, weeding, well-prepared seedbed and fertile soils. Once you embrace this fact, then you will enjoy farming.
Grasses need nitrogen fertiliser to grow well. It is advisable to mix grasses with legumes that add nitrogen into the soil to improve the production and quality of the grass.
Over the years, new pastures and management systems have been developed to handle the challenges of lack of enough feeds for animals during dry seasons, thereby improving production.
Some of the pastures are drought-resistant, solving the biggest problem of lack of enough feeds during dry seasons. Such grasses can easily be ensiled and stored for future use and are highly palatable. In addition, it is easy to add value to such pastures; that is, they can easily be processed into feeds.
Importance of pastures
Pastures have high ability to colonise the places where they are grown. They possess high levels of required nutrients that are needed by animals for quick maturity, increased production, good health and quality products.
They have high regeneration potential (after grazing), improve soil fertility by adding nitrogen to it. There are several pastures that can easily help dairy farmers get more milk from their cattle.
These include Chloris Gayana, Brachiaria Mulato and the improved Napier varieties. Others that are, however, not main feeds are lab-lab, desmodium and calliandra.