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  


Harvesting Drought-stressed Soybean Crops for Hay

With much of the country affected by the drought conditions this summer, many grain producers are facing the problem of low grain yields while many livestock producers are experiencing hay shortages and may be seeking alternatives for winter feed. One possible option is to harvest drought damaged crops or crop residues that are not usually used as forage for hay or silage.


In Kentucky, drought-stressed soybean crops with low producing grain yields may produce a substantial yield of high quality forage. If harvested in a leafy stage before the leaves start to yellow, soybean hay averages 12-15% protein and 55-60% TDN. Many factors should be taken into consideration before deciding to harvest drought-stressed soybeans for forage. It is important to consider the value of the soybean grain yield versus the forage yield. Understand the feeding quality and nutritive value along with current livestock needs. Pesticides that have been applied to the crop can negatively affect animals. Certain pesticides have no restrictions while others have recommended waiting periods after the last application for safe feeding, and others make the crop unsafe for forage use after any application. Be sure to read pesticide labels before deciding to harvest soybeans crops for forage. Last, soybeans may cause bloat. Mixing rations with grass hay or stockpiled pastures will reduce this risk. Talk to your county agent about the option of harvesting drought-stressed crops for forage.