418-102 Authors as Published C.D Teutsch, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center; and R.M. Hoffman, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Virginia is located in the transition area between the cool temperate and subtropical zones of the United States. Thus, Virginia can produce a wide range of pasture plants, but varying temperatures and soil conditions require that different pasture species be grown in various parts of the state. Total moisture availability and temperatures are favorable to productive pasture, but short-term drought combined with high temperatures often limits forage growth during the summer months. Choosing the correct forage species is the first step in successful pasture management. Forages used in Virginia's horse pastures should be:

  • Adapted to the region where they will be used.
  • Adapted to the soils on which they will be grown.
  • Tolerant of environmental stresses, such as high temperatures and drought.
  • Tolerant of close and frequent grazing.
  • Productive when pasture is needed.
  • Free of antiquality factors that may restrict use by horses.
  • Easily managed in horse pastures and matched to the management level of the horse owner.
  • Matched to the animal's nutritional requirements.

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