By Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee
How much can I afford to pay to get my pastures right?
My question back is if a person can afford NOT to get their pastures in good shape. Over the past several years, there have been many pastures where broomsedge has become the dominant specie or where blackberries or other woody species have become invasive and reduce forage production. Anything that reduces forage production then reduces carrying capacity and thus revenue production.
This brings back the question if a person can afford not to improve their pastures. There are several methods of improving pasture. Some methods are more capital intensive while other methods may take a little more time. Regardless, producers should consider their pasture conditions and determine if pasture renovation of some sort is appropriate.
Regardless of which route a person chooses to renovate pasture, it will come at a cost. However, the cost of renovating a pasture can pay for itself if utilized and maintained appropriately in future years.