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Dale Wolf

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Controlled Grazing of Virginia's Pastures

One of the keys to profitable livestock production is to minimize the costs of producing a marketable animal or animal product. Feed costs are commonly 70-80 percent of the cost of growing or maintaining an animal. Pastures provide feed at a cost of .01-.02 cents/lb of TDN while hay costs .04-.06 cents/lb TDN. Improved pasture management offers the single greatest opportunity to lower production costs, assuming that animal genetics, health, marketing procedures, and other areas of management have been addressed. A primary goal of livestock producers should be to utilize grazed forage for as many months of the year as possible while minimizing the need for stored feed.

May 1, 2009 418-012
Establishing and Managing Caucasian Bluestem

Profit and size of beef cow herds may be largely determined by the pasture available during the hot summer months. With low forage production from natural pastures and undependable growing conditions, the number of animals that can be grazed on a particular area must be limited in order to minimize risks of having a pasture shortage which would mean selling animals or purchasing additional forage. In Virginia we have primarily cool-season grasses in our natural pastures. 

May 1, 2009 418-014
No-Till Seeding of Forage Grasses and Legumes

No-till seeding of forage grasses and legumes can be successful and has become an accepted practice for a number of reasons. One of the primary concerns in establishing new forage stands in a well-tilled seedbed is the threat of soil erosion during the establishment period. Not only is valuable topsoil lost, but resulting ruts and gullies damage equipment and are dangerous to equipment operators. In addition to reducing soil erosion, no-till seedings conserve moisture already present in the seedbed. Moisture conservation, along with a dramatic reduction in water run-off, improves the water supply for the new seedlings. No-till seeding methods also require less time and fuel than traditional methods because rocks remain below the soil surface.

May 1, 2009 418-007
Planting and Managing Switchgrass for Forage, Wildlife, and Conservation

Switchgrass is a tall-growing, warm-season, perennial grass that is native to much of the United States including Virginia. Switchgrass (SG) was widespread in open areas before settlers populated an area and remained in one place year after year. Their livestock were free roaming and would graze the new switchgrass growth in the spring before the new plants were tall enough to withstand defoliation. This mismanagement weakened the stands and eventually led to their demise. They were replaced by cool-season grasses introduced from other countries such as bluegrass, tall fescue, and orchardgrass. These cool-season grasses began growth much earlier in the spring so they could tolerate the early season grazing by cattle. As a result, the native warm-season grasses such as SG were destroyed and can now only be found growing wild in abandoned sites such as old cemeteries or roadways.

May 1, 2009 418-013
Powell River Project - Conversion of Sericea Lespedeza-dominant Vegetation to Quality Forages for Livestock Use

The purpose of this publication is to describe recommended strategies for converting the sericea-dominant vegetation typically found on older surface-mined benches to more favorable forages that can be more effectively utilized by livestock. Techniques for suppressing the growth of sericea lespedeza in order to establish quality forage species and for managing the resultant pasture or hayland area were developed from research conducted at the Powell River Project Research and Education Center site.

Oct 1, 2009 460-119