Fertilize Pastures for Stockpiling in August
Livestock Update, August 2001
John Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech
Pastures that will be used for stockpiling need to be grazed down to about 2 inches. This should be done in early August west of the Blue Ridge and Mid to Late August east of the Blue Ridge. Pastures should then be fertilized with 50 to 80 lbs. of N in mid-August (Western VA) or late August (Eastern VA). Ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate are the best forms of N fertilizer to use for stockpiling because they are less volatile than urea or some other forms of N fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate will "wait for rain" and are less likely to burn pastures or lose their N value. Poultry litter is another good option for stockpiling, but some of the organic N might be slower to be released. Cattle should be removed from stockpiled pastures during fertilization until after the first killing frost or late November (in areas of VA that get light frosts).