University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Welcome to the Master Grazer Educational Program

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


Grazing News Articles

Articles on forages, animals, and grazing systems

Additional Resources


Extension Publications


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

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




Austin Sexten

Master Grazer Coordinator
804 W.P. Garrigus Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
(859) 257-7512

Faculty Coordinators:

Dr. Ray Smith

Extension Forage Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-3358
Fax: (859) 323-1952  

Dr. Donna Amaral-Phillips

Extension Dairy Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-7542
Fax: (859) 257-7537  

Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler

Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-2853
Fax: (859) 257-3412  


Fall Fertilizer Applications

October 2011 Article



Fertilizer application is often needed for a healthy forage stand. Having a soil test done before applying fertilizer to pastures is strongly encouraged. Apply only what is needed according to the soil test results. The University of Kentucky recommends phosphorus (P) applications starting when the soil test P level drops below 60 lbs/acre and potassium (K) when soil test K drops below 300 lbs/acre. Ideal soil pH levels are dependent on the forage type and usually range between 6.0 and 5.5.

Nitrogen application in late October to November is ideal to increase grass density, lateral spread, and color. According to Dr. Ray Smith, UK Forage Extension Specialist, if applied at this time, the forage stand will thicken by producing new tillers and spring growth will start earlier. Grasses will also stay greener further into the fall and early winter. Spring application can deplete carbohydrates, reduce root growth, and increase weed competition. Applying nitrogen in late October to November will benefit the forage without causing excessive top growth, a depletion of reserve carbohydrates, or weed invasion. The increase in grass density will allow for competition against spring weeds and the ability to better tolerate traffic. Nitrogen applied in early October will result in more top growth than November applications. Applying twice in the fall has proven to have many benefits. It is recommended that the first application of 30-40lbs/acre is applied the first of September and a second of 30-40lbs/acre be applied the middle of October to early November. If applying nitrogen only once in the fall, apply 40-60 lbs/acre in late October to early November.