Stockpiling refers to the practice of selecting certain pastures in the late summer where forages are saved or stockpiled for grazing at a later time. These pastures are then managed with the intent of using them late in the season for winter grazing. These stockpiled forages can extend the grazing season for several more months and reduce the amount of hay needed.
A major consideration in the selection of pastures to be stockpiled is the growth characteristics of the forage grass species. Certain cool season perennial forage grasses, such as Reed Canarygrass, are very sensitive to day length and night time temperatures. As days get shorter in early October, the plant ceases to grow and rapidly loses forage quality. Orchardgrass continues to develop in the fall, but shading and leaf diseases quickly degrade lower plant leaves. Perennial pasture grasses such as tall fescue, bromegrass, and ryegrass are forage grass species having characteristics that favor fall growth and development. Annual forages such as triticale, and rye can also be used effectively to offer extended grazing in the fall and winter on crop lands.