All cars and trucks have a maintenance schedule that the manufacturer puts in the glove box when they come off the assembly line. Maintenance schedules list items that, if taken care of at the appropriate time, will normally result in better overall performance and prolonged vehicle life. I'd bet most of us conduct what we deem critical items, like changing the oil on time, monitoring transmission fluid, and changing the brakes when they start to squeal. We all know there are other "critical" items that we don't tend to on a regular basis, and sometimes we dont hear the squeal, and we have a breakdown that can lead to an unscheduled outlay of cash to repair the problem.
Pasture maintenance is much the same as vehicle maintenance. If you want your pastures to be productive over an acceptable time frame, you must pay attention to details, just like you should with your vehicle. Ignoring critical pasture management items normally results in problems that could have been avoided with a little timely maintenance.
I have put together a general vehicle maintenance schedule and what I consider a general maintenance schedule for pasture management. After reading both, I think you will realize how similar these items are to performance of either a vehicle or a pasture. Remember the key word in both lists is "maintenance." A commercial ran a few years ago that ended with the phrase "pay me now, or pay me later." This is a very true statement. Nothing will manage itself. I hope this article will help you implement some of the critical management items to keep your pastures viable and productive and maybe get a few more years out of your truck as well.