Assess Tame Pastures Before Rejuvenating - Frequently Asked Questions

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 How can I tell if I should rejuvenate my tame pasture?
The best way to decide if you should rejuvenate a pasture is to do a pasture assessment. Pasture assessments help producers decide if a pasture needs to be rejuvenated and if so, how best to rejuvenate it.

How do I do a pasture assessment?
There are a number of tools that make pasture assessments simple and easy. The Alberta Tame Pasture Scorecard is a quick and easy way of doing a pasture assessment. The Public Lands Branch Tame Pasture Health Assessment form is another good tool that provides a more detailed assessment of the pasture.

What does a pasture assessment look at?
Tame pasture production depends on interactions between the plants, animals and soil. Pasture assessments look at key indicators to measure pasture productivity and vigor. Indicators such as plant population, plant density, plant vigor, ground cover, soil damage and severity and uniformity of use are assessed.

Should I assess my pasture even if it doesn’t need to be rejuvenated?
Pasture assessments provide producers with information needed to make informed decisions on grazing management, timing of grazing, cross fencing and pasture fertility. Assessments size up the condition of the pasture and identify strengths and weaknesses so management can be targeted to produce specific results. Regular pasture assessments help you optimize forage production and evaluate the sustainability of pasture management systems.

How many assessments do I need?
Pastures should be assessed at least once a year, during the growing season. Pastures that are more intensively managed should be assessed more frequently. Divide the farm into several pastures or paddocks, based on forage type, soil, and grazing management used on that area. A separate assessment should be done for each pasture, since different sites may need different management. Each assessment should be based on an average of at least three places within the pasture.

How does a pasture assessment help with rejuvenation?
Pasture assessments allow producers to look closely at the pasture and identify specific areas where management improvements may be profitable and effective. Assessments allow targeted, specific management. Once you identify the problems, you can select a rejuvenation method to fix the problems.

Do I need special training to do a tame pasture assessment?
The Alberta Tame Pasture Scorecard is designed to be simple and straightforward to use, with or without special training. Attending a workshop on pasture assessment or pasture management may provide more ideas for rejuvenating and managing pastures. Organizations like Agriculture Service Boards, Forage Associations, Applied Research Associations may offer training in pasture assessment and management.

For more information:
Alberta Tame Pasture Scorecard
Public Land Management - Rangeland Health Assessment
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This document is maintained by Mary Ann Nelson.
This information published to the web on May 31, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 31, 2017.