Take care if grazing cattle on soft, wet pasture – trampling can weaken plants and reduce production for months or years, says Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist.
He recommends grazing all cattle together in one small area until the ground gets solid again, feeding hay if necessary. That area may have to be reseeded, but the rest of the pasture will be protected.
Pastures grazed and muddied up only briefly usually recover quickly – probably not as fast as when the ground is solid, but fast enough to minimize yield or stand loss. Move animals frequently, at least once a day, to new areas.
“If this involves walking animals long distances, it might be better to subdivide pastures with temporary electric fences so you don’t increase trampling during the moving process,” Anderson says. “Fencing supplies you use around cornstalks during winter should work well for this temporary use. Once the ground firms up, you can return to your normal grazing rotation.”