Page 4 - MWC 2-23-2023s
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The Midwest Cattleman · February 23, 2023 · P4

                                         ning through photos of the  fluenced greatly by two trips  I read  university publica-
                                         last grazing season.  There's  to New Zealand.  We were not  tions about frost-seeding or
                                         one photo in particular that  tourists; we were there to see  the importance of legumes
                                         caught my attention and I  the grass business.  Although  in pastures where there is
                                         scrolled back...  It's a photo  our itinerary did include one  no mention of annual lespe-
                                         of seedling Legend lespede- rugby  game, we  were there  deza.  There are a number of
                                         za, covered with the morn- primarily to look at grass.  university guide sheets on
                                         ing dew, growing - starting  And  not  only  grass  but  lots  the subject but in my opin-
                                         to fill in the gaps between  and lots of clover as well as  ion, they are all out of date
                                         the  clumps  of  grass.  If  that  other forages.                    - some are 20 years or more
                                         looks good to you, just think        We visited farms and for- out of date.
                                         what it looks like to a hun- age research centers from                  I have talked to more than
                                         gry cow with a new calf.  In  one end of that long, slender  one producer who had such a
         We are one  day closer to  our grazing system cattle eat  country to the other - from  productive stand of Legend
      Spring!                            everything, but if they could  one spot where you can al- lespedeza in their pasture
         Once we've had one good  talk,  they  would  definitely  most see the equator to an- that they were worried about
      winter storm, that becomes  say, “You can have the grass  other where ‘Antarctica Asso- their fescue stand being
      my motto for getting through  – what we really want is that  ciates’ in orange suits load-up  smothered out.  They were
      each day in January and  clover and lespedeza.”  Keep  to make the short trip over to  afraid it would not survive
      February.   It’s not  the win- in mind that those are the  that cold continent.                         – all without a single case of
      ter temperatures or even the  real  sources  of  significant            They don't do corn and  bloat.  In my opinion, when
      ice and snow that make me  protein, vitamins and ener- bean research there; they  you add lespedeza to a heavy
      ready for Spring as much as  gy.  If you don’t have them,  do grass and clover research  clover stand, you are also de-
      it is the lack of color in the  you’re  missing  out!   The  and lots of it.  You could say  creasing the chance of bloat.
      landscape. I’m just ready to  grass is just there to push it  it’s their  ‘bread and butter’.   I like a variety of clovers, les-
      see something ‘green’ again –  along through the digestive  Grass is the  ‘bread’ per- pedezas  for  a  full  season  of
      bring it on!                       system.                            haps, but clover is the real  grazing.  When the summer
         For some who had very              One of the first articles  ‘butter’ - the real energy in  heat slows down most clovers,
      little moisture last year,  that I remember writing for  their  grazing  systems.      It  annual lespedeza is just get-
      they have to go back sev- this publication was "If you're  seemed really odd to us, but  ting started.  It doesn’t grow
      eral months to recall much  in the cattle business, you're  the New Zealand graziers we  everywhere.    If  there  is  not
      that was very green.  I re- in  the  grass  business".    I'm  met were not satisfied – they  already some type of common
      cently found myself scan- sure my perspective was in- were not happy - they didn’t  lespedeza already growing in
                                                                            have enough clover in their  your area, there is probably a
                                                                            pastures unless they are  reason for that. Very little is
                                                                            having  to  occasionally  treat  grown north or west of Tope-
                                                                            for bloat.   They want  ‘per- ka, or south of Ardmore, but
                                                                            formance’ and that grazing  it goes well over into eastern
                                                                            performance comes from the  Virginia  and  the  Carolinas
                                                                            legumes in the mix!               and south into the Florida
                                                                              There are several univer- panhandle.
                                                                            sities here in the states that       We hope you see some
                                                                            do some outstanding work on  green grass soon and that
                                                                            forages, particularly clovers,  you have a terrific grazing
                                                                            but nothing like the empha- season!
                                                                            sis they have 'down under'.   I      KwC
                                                                            am often disappointed when
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