Pastures and Forages

Grass Tetany: fast growing grass can mean problems.


Mature cattle grazing pasture with rapidly growing grass are sometimes found to be afflicted with a disease called grass tetany. It is characterized by an uncoordinated gait (grass staggers), convulsions, coma, and death. The primary cause is limited dietary intake of magnesium (Mg) leading to hypomagnesemia (low blood Mg) in the cow. Cows nearing calving and up to two months post-calving are most susceptible as they must draw on feed and body reserves to supply minerals for milk production. Tetany is rarely observed in younger cattle. In sheep it is not a common problem, but may occur in ewes in the first few weeks after lambing.

By Shelby Filley

UC Davis Weed ID

Online Resource

The Weed Research and Information Center is an interdisciplinary collaboration that fosters research in weed management and facilitates distribution of associated knowledge for the benefit of agriculture and for the preservation of natural resources.

Fewer weeds equals more quality forage


Weeds can lower the quality and quantity of forage in a pasture or hayfield. In general, weeds have lower protein and energy than improved, cool season perennial and annual forages under good grazing...

By Shelby Filley

Forage value of pasture weeds


Forage quality of common pasture weeds was determined through laboratory testing to compare feed value of weeds to desirable forage species and nutrient requirements for grazing livestock.

By Shelby Filley, Andy Hulting

Western Washington and Oregon Pasture Management Calendar Debuts


A new Extension publication, “The Western Oregon and Washington Pasture Calendar (PMW699),” was created to provide pasture managers and their advisors with a scientific basis for pasture management...

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) – Silage Will Not Reduce the Toxin


Poison hemlock is one of the most poisonous of plants. Silage making has been used to reduce the concentrations of toxins in a variety of crops. Poison hemlock alkaloids are found in different concentrations depending on several factors that make it virtually impossible to predict how dangerous the plant is at any given time.

By Cassie Bouska

Measuring Moisture in Hay

Online Resource

There are several subjective, physical, chemical, and instrumental methods for determining forage moisture. All methods depend on proper forage sampling. Because only a small quantity is sampled, it is important that the sample be representative of the entire lot of forage. This paper describes forage moisture, how it is determined, and how to sample for estimating forage moisture in the windrow, bale, and stack.

Teff Grass for Forage: Nitrogen and irrigation requirements

OSU Extension Catalog

Teff is an ancient grain, made popular recently as more growers turn to teff for its high yields of high-quality hay. New research outlined here shows that teff requires less nitrogen fertilizer and irrigation water than comparable forage crops. Learn how much to apply and when to apply it.

By Brian Charlton, Richard Roseberg

Poison Hemlock and Western Water Hemlock – Deadly plants that may be growing in your pasture


Poisonous plants are a major cause of economic loss to the livestock industry. This article will focus on two common plants in Oregon: poison hemlock and western water hemlock. Ingestion of either of these plants by humans or livestock typically results in death.

By Scott Duggan

Poisonous Plants Commonly Found in Pastures


Pastures often contain weeds that are potentially dangerous to livestock. The toxic compounds in plants are usually a defense mechanism against predation and have a distinct, unpleasant odor or a bitter taste and are not preferentially grazed. Consumption of unpalatable plants will increase under some circumstances, primarily if other forage is not available. Understanding the dangers and various management strategies to control toxic plants will reduce the risk to your livestock.

By Mylen Bohle, David Hannaway, Andy Hulting

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