Improve Pasture - Improve the Farm
You can help your sellers of horse farms economically improve the value of their property. Improving the pasture is one of the most cost effective ways to increase the value of a horse farm. Pasture improvement has more to do with observation and management practices than with dollars and cents. So no matter what the horse property owner’s budget, the owner can with good management and little cash improve the horse farm pastures and increase the value of the farm property.
Grazed Down – Buyer Turn-off
One can be very certain that prospective buyers of horse farms will notice the condition of the pasture. All buyers of horse property have seen plenty of bare pasture grazed down to the nub and they are never impressed. Poorly managed pasture is not a selling point!
Bare Pasture – Unsightly and Costly
A bare pasture is not only unsightly but it is a breeding ground for weeds that have no forage value and can sometimes be poisonous to horses. These weakened pastures do not give forage plants the opportunity to replenish their roots or nutritional reserves. The result is deprived forage plants that deliver fewer nutrients to the horse thus costing their owner more in feed and hay.
Rotation the Solution
The solution is rotational grazing. The best way to accomplish this is to sub-divide larger pastures into smaller grazing areas with the use of inexpensive portable electric fencing. As one area is grazed down horses are moved to another area to allow the grazed area time to rest and rejuvenate to form healthy and nutritional forage.
Greener Pastures – Happier Buyers
A rotation plan not only provides greener more visually attractive pastures but it also extends the grazing season. An extended grazing season reduces hay and feed costs making horse and human much happier. A horse will choose fresh and vibrant forage and over dried hay any day.
Horses Can Be Choosy
Horses are selective eaters. In large pastures horses will selectively graze down their preferred foraging areas leaving other less desirable portions untouched. Rotating from one small area to another reduces the selective grazing by offering fewer options and helps to equalize the pasture. Even with smaller areas though, horses will still be selective so there will always be some unevenness.
Mowing and Resting – Revitalizes
The unevenness can be managed. After rotating the horses off of an area, follow-up with mowing for an even cut of about three inches. Allow the pasture to rest for several weeks until the forage reaches the optimal grazing height of about nine inches. Turn the horses onto the renewed pasture and allow them to graze down to about three to four inches.
The time per rotation will vary depending on the amount of moisture and sunshine. On average the time on one area will be between five to seven days. Early spring forage can grow rapidly but not particularly evenly. Mid-summer growth slows from the heat and drier conditions and if not observant it is easy to allow horses too much time on any given pasture. During early fall as temperatures drop, forage growth will tend to re-surge for a short time, which makes this an ideal time for re-seeding to help give pastures a good and solid start for next spring.
Observe and Manage - Increase Yields
Observation and management of the farm’s pasture can save money by reducing feed costs and will put more money in the farmer’s pocket when it comes time to sale. For cost benefit a well-managed rotation plan can’t be beat.
For a free market analysis of your horse farm, contact Steed Talker Realty. We own horses and horse property. We know what horses and their people need in a horse farm.