Flood recovery management for pastures

by Dr. Matt Poore, NC State University Animal Science

We have a lot of questions recently about pasture renovation due to damage caused last year by the drought in the western and central North Carolina and the flood in eastern North Carolina. The drought caused stand damage on many farms across the western region, and also in the east on pastures that stayed under water for ore than a week.   As the weather warms up you should be able to tell which fields have severe long-term damage, which are weakened, and which are in good shape. As you assess your pastures, keep in mind that you really need to be thinking in terms of how much bare ground there is, how much of the cover is desirable forage species, how much is undesirable species (weeds), and whether legumes are present. Your local advisors including your extension agents and conservationists have training on assessing pasture condition, so make sure you seek their guidance as you approach your pasture evaluation. Continue reading