With the recent extreme temperatures, your field might be looking brown and dry. Your grass will be in a dormant stage so it will shut down and turn brown to conserve its nutrients and water. There are a few ways to manage drought-stressed paddocks and here are tips to do that:
Where possible, try and avoid overgrazing. Grazing below 3” and having excessive hoof traffic can accelerate the drought effect and slow regrowth once it begins to rain. Animals will reduce the plant leaf areas, decreasing the plants’ ability to intercept sunlight and grow new leaf material. Overgrazed paddocks also reduce the quality of pasture, and as the weeds replace the grass, they quickly look untidy and unkept.
While fields become bare and patchy due to the grass not growing, horses will not be maintaining their digestive and behavioural health. If additional forage is not available, horses may start to eat droppings, bark, fences, and graze rough areas of the paddock. We recommend that you continue to remove droppings from the paddock to decrease this risk and make sure forage is available that suits the animal’s needs and requirements.
During the hot and dry conditions, some weeds are especially good at surviving specially if they have a long tap root that gets moisture from deep down in the soil. You can look at our Drought Related email giving tips and advice on how to use selective herbicides to control weeds during the drier months. >> https://tinyurl.com/4ztdv4wj
Once the rain starts making an appearance, you can start thinking ahead to what fertiliser you will need. A mixture of rain and fertiliser will be able to aid grass ready for winter. We have a range of granular and liquid fertilisers to choose from to suit the requirements of your field.
Keep an eye out for August’s blog where fertilisers will be covered with tips and advice on how to get the perfect paddock ready for autumn/winter.