Pasture Walk Impressive
Last night’s pasture walk at Tom and Connie Soppe’s north of Jesup was very impressive. They practice intensive rotational grazing with their herd of Red Angus cattle. They have 66 acres of pasture divided into one-acre paddocks and move the cows about every day. They currently have 47 cow-calf pairs and a bull in one group, and 26 replacement heifers and a bull in a second group grazing this system. They also harvested about 20 acres of hay from the pasture. Typically more hay could be harvested but due to the dry weather, they decided to let some of the grass get mature to provide more rest for the remaining paddocks.
Their forage base is traditional for many Iowa pastures consisting of orchardgrass, brome, timothy, tall fescue, red and white clovers. Soppe’s have above ground water lines to every paddock and move their small tank along with the cattle. The quick couple water system makes moving the water easy.
The next NE Iowa pasture walk will be July 25 south of West Union featuring a solar powered watering system. Information on future pasture walks can be found on the Iowa Beef Center website