A comprehensive pasture and grazing management guide for the Northwest includes detailed chapters on cell grazing, pasture irrigation, nutrient management and fertility. It’s available for $18 plus shipping or free online.

“We did try to target it to the Northwest, but most of the principles are the same,” says University of Idaho forage specialist Glenn Shewmaker, who edited the publication with Mylen Bohle, Oregon State University Extension agronomist.

Called Pasture and Grazing Management in the Northwest, the 208-page book has been a work in progress for more than five years, Shewmaker says. It will be used to help train Extension and Natural Resources Conservation Service workers as well as be available to growers.

It includes a chapter on cell grazing written by grazing expert Jim Gerrish and Charles Cheyney, Butte County, ID, Extension educator. “That is a highlight, because it’s on cell design and how you can accommodate irrigation management into the design,” Shewmaker adds. “I don’t know of any other publication that really talks about the best method of water-fence development in association with irrigation systems, especially pivot irrigation systems.”

The guide also includes a chapter on animal behavior – examining the times of day animals eat and how producer-instigated changes can affect animal performance, production and behavior. “The more you know about animal behavior, the more you appreciate the challenges a cow has. They’re very good at what they do, but we can mess them up. Or we can assist them. It depends on our management.”

A chapter on fertility and nutrient management of pastures is another highlight of the publication, Shewmaker says. “In this area, where pastures are part of a cropping system, everybody is in the habit of applying fertilizer based on annual cropping systems. They don’t understand the differences of permanent vegetation.

“For example, you can do a soil nitrogen test in a well-managed pasture and you won’t find a whole lot of N just in the soil. It’s taken up fairly quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to dump a whole bunch of fertilizer on. We spent quite a bit of time on good fertility management (in the guide) to get across to producers the real cycling nature of nutrients in a pasture situation and the sustainability of that.”

The publication can be ordered by calling 208-885-7982, emailing calspubs@uidaho.edu or online.