Published Mar 22, 2010

By Luke Gran

Questions asked by Dave Schmidt, beginning grazier and participating member of PFI’s Next Generation Program

-What are the best forage mixes for central Iowa?
-Would you recommend using any of the native legumes or warm-season
grasses? (maybe in separate paddocks for mid-summer?)
-What are the best strategies for rejuvenating old CRP ground?
(intensive grazing? re-establish? RX burn?)
-What are the best strategies for establishing pasture on bare ground
that has been intensively row-cropped for decades?
-Do you recommend making hay or stockpiling standing forage for winter?
-What is the most effective way to field-measure standing forage volume?
-Is it worth buying more expensive, grass-specific cattle breeds or
just stick with black Angus from the neighbors?
-Is it likely to be years until we have high-enough quality forage
established to properly finish beef?
-How important is measuring brix?
-How important are soil tests?
-What are some solutions for excessive early-season mud?
-What are some indications that the pastures are ready to start
grazing in the spring?
-Do you have any recommendations for chargers and electric fencing?
-Do you have any suggestions for designing the rotation system?
-Do you have a favorite record-keeping system for tracking forage
production or cattle performance?
-Do you recommend buying a livestock scale?
-Do you recommend leasing (e.g., Greg Judy in “Comeback Farms”) or
buying your own land?

Questions like this are why Beginning Farmers should be members of Practical Farmers of Iowa. Join Today

Answers to be given by forage expert Doug Gunnink live on Tuesday Night March 23, 2010 at 7 PM C.S.T. at the online field day location

For More Information on our Farminar Series and to view archive seminars go to