The main objective of growing forages is feeding animals which eventually feed or provide products for humans. It is relatively easy to produce a lot of forage but it is not as easy to produce high-quality feed and utilize it efficiently. Having lots of forage available in the pasture is the easy part. Having excellent feed at the right time for animals takes knowledge and skill.

Managers must allow grazing only to extent that enough forage is left to protect the soil and maintain or improve the quality and quantity of vegetation. To do this the manager balances the available forage with the number and type of grazing animals.

Grazing practices assume certain features are interacting: soil, topography, area size, water availability, fences, natural barriers, plants, animals, weather, and salt and minerals. The forage manager must consider all features and blend them together for optimum results. This has been described as: capturing the energy by the plants, harvesting that energy by animals, and converting that energy into a product. This will mean accelerating vegetative growth and health on all areas of the forage-livestock system, uniform grazing of all areas as much as possible, stabilizing the forage available during the entire grazing season, matching forage quality with livestock needs, and protecting the resource and environment.

The more grazing areas or paddocks used in a grazing operation increases the initial cost because fencing and watering facilities must be considered. Intensive grazing practices also require committment by the forage manager to monitor plant growth and move livestock often. But the initial investment will be off-set by increases in yield and quality. The time committment of the manager may be rewarded by the increase in production.

Establishing a creep or first-last grazing system requires a good knowledge of animal nutritional needs and habits. Creep grazing requires more than "hot-wire" fencing which makes it a little more costly.

Strip grazing usually means more attention is paid to easily moved fencing and watering facilities. The strip sections of pasture used in strip grazing are narrow so water has to be strategically placed.

Decisions on which grazing types to utilize will require a close look at the land to be used. Drawing out the paddocks, water facilities, natural barriers, and other physical features is often necessary.