I just acquired 18 acres outside of Aurora, OH. The majority is fenced into...

Asked March 7, 2016, 2:38 PM EST

I just acquired 18 acres outside of Aurora, OH. The majority is fenced into five pastures which we will use to graze horses. I suspect very little management has been done over the past 20 years. I'm looking for a source of info on pasture management and renovation, what types of grasses and legumes would work well in this area and be ideal for grazing horses and possibly a few head of cattle. Should I test soil and fertilize? Etc., thanks for any general direction you can give me. Paul Johnson

Portage County Ohio

1 Response

The first thing to do is soil testing. Once the results come back you will know if you need to fertilize or lime and the results will give you recommended amounts. I would also recommend that you evaluate your pastures to see what grasses you already have growing in them. I realize that there is not an Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator in Portage County, but your local NRCS or Soil and Water Office may be able to help you also. As for grasses that I would suggest for grazing horses include Kentucky bluegrass, Orchardgrass and Timothy. I do not know if you are breeding horses but if so pregnant mares should not be allowed to graze on tall fescue unless it is an endophyte-free variety. Some feed stores do offer some premixed horse pasture seed combinations for sale, if you did not want to do your owe mix. I would also recommend that you purchase the Ohio Agronomy Guide it has a lot of information that can answer most of your questions. Your local OSU Extension Office can order this book for you.