A number of producers take time over the winter to evaluate their farming and ranching operation.

Rejuvenating pastures or hay stands can help to improve productivity.

Range Management Extension Specialist Luke Jorgenson says over time when pastures are grazed and forage stands are baled, nutrients are lost.

"For grass hay you're taking off 40 pounds of actual nitrogen, and just over 10 pounds of phosphorus from each dry ton of forage that you're taking off and over time that really adds up."

He says fertilizing perennial tame hay stands can help to improve forage quality, yield and longevity of the stand.

"Depending on your soil zone you can expect 10 to 30 pound per acre of forage dry matter increase, for every pound per acre of actual nitrogen applied. And again, this is for grass forage, and then the unpredictability of that yield response is due mostly to moisture."

Environmental factors have a big impact on forage production, as well whether it's moisture or topography, soil texture or salinity.

He notes maintaining a healthy forage stand with good fertility and vigor can help improve resilience in tough conditions.

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