Welcome to the Master Grazer Educational Program

-an educational program to improve grazing practices in beef, dairy, goat and sheep herds


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Articles on forages, animals, and grazing systems

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Master Grazer Educational Program reports to KY Ag Development Fund Board:

2016 Third Quarter Report
2016 Second Quarter Report
2016 First Quarter Report
2015-2016 Bi-Annual Report
2013-2014 Bi-annual Report
2012 Annual Accomplishments
2011 Annual Accomplishments




Zach Workman

Master Grazer Coordinator
821B W.P. Garrigus Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
(859) 257-7512
E-mail: zewo222@uky.edu

Faculty Coordinators:

Dr. Ray Smith

Extension Forage Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-3358
Fax: (859) 323-1952  
Email: raysmith1@uky.edu

Dr. Donna Amaral-Phillips

Extension Dairy Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-7542
Fax: (859) 257-7537  
Email: damaral@uky.edu

Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler

Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-2853
Fax: (859) 257-3412  
Email: jeff.lehmkuhler@uky.edu


Dealing With Wet Pasture Conditions

January 2012 Article



Muddy, wet pastures are a common scene in Kentucky.  In order to keep soil and forage damage to a minimum, it is important to take the proper actions to protect them during these wet periods. Livestock traffic on wet pastures can cause soil compaction and can damage the roots and crowns of plants. The extent of the damage is dependent upon soil type, forage species, and severity of wetness and hoof traffic. Organic and sandy soils are more easily damaged compared to other soil types. Forages, such as timothy, ryegrass, and alfalfa are extremely susceptible to damage. 

Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, and bermudagrass can stand up to more severe hoof action.  Another issue with muddy conditions is that the livestock often kick mud onto the forages and are likely to avoid grazing these plants.  Not taking precautions to protect wet pastures can cause extreme damage and production loss.

When pastures are extremely wet, moving the livestock faster can be helpful to reduce the possible damage to pastures. Putting animals in a sacrifice area, feedlot, or feeding pad during these times is another good method to protect pastures. Although it may be necessary to feed stored feeds, using these methods during extremely wet periods can protect plants from damage and soil from excessive compaction and erosion.