The location of hay feeding areas also impact the distribution of nutrients within a field with most manure being deposited near the feeding areas. Depending on weather conditions and the potential for creating ruts in the pasture, feeding areas should be moved throughout the pasture to insure a more even distribution of nutrients. 

Whenever hay is baled, nutrients are removed from the field and exported to the feeding area. Kentucky researchers have estimated that a ton of grass hay (fescue, orchard grass) removes the following nutrients from the soil: 12 pounds of phosphate and 50 pounds of potash.[3] If these nutrients are not replaced, nutrient availability from the soil will be depleted over time. 

Consequently, there will be a reduction in hay and forage yields. Soil testing determines the amount to fertilizer that needs to be applied to maintain hay yields.

Cooperative Extension educators can assist producers in the design of rotational grazing systems for their farms. Virginia Cooperative Extension work has shown the implementation of rotational systems can maximize profitability for cow/calf producers. 

There are Virginia livestock producers who have reported increased net profits of $200 per head due to the implementation of rotational grazing systems on their farms. Rotational grazing systems can maximize farm profitability by recycling nutrients which results in a major reduction of purchased fertilizer inputs.