Since moving the mother beef herd to Clay’s ranch, we are resting about 2/3rds of our pastures completely. The remaining 1/3rd is irrigated so we are able to maintain grasses needed for the finishing herd, a much smaller number of beeves. Here’s my concern about the 2/3rds at rest. These were the pastures where the mother herd stayed during the 2011 drought, subsisting mostly on hay. But on the rare occasion that something fresh and green popped up, they nipped it right off. Cattle prefer grazing to all other methods of eating, so that is to be expected. My concern is that the constant pressure they were putting on the already stressed out root systems was too much and they might have just died down to the roots. Nothing to be done – there was no place else to go at the time. And since the rain stopped before the warm growing season started, we cannot tell what their status is because anything that is still alive is hunkering down again.
Clay is optimistic that the grasses are just waiting for rain and will come back and I am hoping he is right