"Improving Our Lot" - Planned Holistic Grazing, for starters..

bendigeidfran

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cei newydd
Question for the collective, oldest boy will be 25 in a couple of months time and he is managing the 50ac we've got a couple of miles up the road, atm he is looking after our sheep and his cattle ( cattle are his wages)
I feel like it's time for him to start learning the financial side of it, he can look after stock ok, i asked if he would like to rent it and he said he would love to.

What is the best way to get him too see
things from a holistic point of view?
If he were to get it now he would probably plough, reseed it fertilize it and use spray.
Father allways let me try things,
Im not going to tell him to farm a certain way, but try and get him to make his own mind up.
I really need to plant a seed in his mind, and let him grow it.
Any suggestions
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
I've been reading the odd snippets from;


The Clifton Park System of Farming- and laying down land to grass​


a guide to landlords, tenants
and land legislators
by

Robert H. Elliot


It really is fascinating how much potential knowledge we've seemingly let slide away through the bagged N and various agri chems era
l think it's terrifying how much has been forgotten, we have no idea of how much, at all.
Clifton park is all about building soil fertility, to grow an arable crop, put very simply. Looking at it from that angle, what's not to like about it, arable farmers on light land, should be looking at that. Fert, sprays and machines, have a lot to answer for, they have made farming easy, but we have gone from using them as a tool, to total reliance, and the removal of stock from arable farms, in little more than 50 yrs. Rotation of crops to build soil fertility has gone, replaced by continuous arable, on many farms. Mixed farming was much more resilient than the single entity type farm, is it for the good, probably not, will it change, again probably not.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Question for the collective, oldest boy will be 25 in a couple of months time and he is managing the 50ac we've got a couple of miles up the road, atm he is looking after our sheep and his cattle ( cattle are his wages)
I feel like it's time for him to start learning the financial side of it, he can look after stock ok, i asked if he would like to rent it and he said he would love to.

What is the best way to get him too see
things from a holistic point of view?
If he were to get it now he would probably plough, reseed it fertilize it and use spray.
Father allways let me try things,
Im not going to tell him to farm a certain way, but try and get him to make his own mind up.
I really need to plant a seed in his mind, and let him grow it.
Any suggestions
Much to dads dismay, l went to college, and had a year on another farm, he thought l should stay home and milk, on the cheap. Best thing l ever did, and made sure my son did.
Your idea is great, the only draw back, 50 acres isn't a living, so is there other paid work ? At 25, he should know enough about stock, so it's the business side, show him the books, let the accountant give him the basics, and let him get on with it, his way, a few pointers wouldn't harm, but he really has to learn the hard way, we all did.
I'm a bit unusual, l passed the cheque book over 5 years ago, to son ,27. Medical problems dictated that, but l get great enjoyment in seeing him working it all out, and he readily asks/discusses with me, about things, brilliant idea, let him work it out, he will be the better for it.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I've been reading the odd snippets from;


The Clifton Park System of Farming- and laying down land to grass​


a guide to landlords, tenants
and land legislators
by

Robert H. Elliot


It really is fascinating how much potential knowledge we've seemingly let slide away through the bagged N and various agri chems era
Sure is. Thanks to being the last in a long line of recalcitrant breeders, I was lucky enough to skip "the time of great progress" in pastoral farming
 

Guleesh

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Isle of Skye
Question for the collective, oldest boy will be 25 in a couple of months time and he is managing the 50ac we've got a couple of miles up the road, atm he is looking after our sheep and his cattle ( cattle are his wages)
I feel like it's time for him to start learning the financial side of it, he can look after stock ok, i asked if he would like to rent it and he said he would love to.

What is the best way to get him too see
things from a holistic point of view?
If he were to get it now he would probably plough, reseed it fertilize it and use spray.
Father allways let me try things,
Im not going to tell him to farm a certain way, but try and get him to make his own mind up.
I really need to plant a seed in his mind, and let him grow it.
Any suggestions
Everybody is different.

My Father had laboured on various farms in his youth but then wasn't involved in agriculture. Later in life, when I was a boy he had a small flock of sheep on our few acres here. The sheep were gone some time in my teens, and then I started out with sheep on the folks place from age 18/19.

Obviously I knew it all then the same as I do now :rolleyes: I never paid much attention to his protestations of how I viewed and treated the land, and he let me wreak havoc. Often now, 11 years after his death I keep remembering little snippets of what he had tried to tell me, regarding the importance of the health of the soil and of the place as a whole, about creating habitats for as many things as possible, and many other things that seem so obvious now...

I really had to learn the hard way and am still figuring it out, but it's quite nice to think he would probably approve of the direction things are heading in these days.

Teach the kids all you can, even if at first it appears to fall on stony ground, the seed will probably still be planted. Other than that, I think you have to let go. If you came round to a certain way of thinking yourself, then the apple will probably not fall far from the tree.
 

bendigeidfran

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cei newydd
Much to dads dismay, l went to college, and had a year on another farm, he thought l should stay home and milk, on the cheap. Best thing l ever did, and made sure my son did.
Your idea is great, the only draw back, 50 acres isn't a living, so is there other paid work ? At 25, he should know enough about stock, so it's the business side, show him the books, let the accountant give him the basics, and let him get on with it, his way, a few pointers wouldn't harm, but he really has to learn the hard way, we all did.
I'm a bit unusual, l passed the cheque book over 5 years ago, to son ,27. Medical problems dictated that, but l get great enjoyment in seeing him working it all out, and he readily asks/discusses with me, about things, brilliant idea, let him work it out, he will be the better for it.
He is managing the 50 acres now anyway but for us, not for himself. I do intend to let him get on with it, thats the best way to learn, but i would rather he farmed it in a holistic way.
 

bendigeidfran

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cei newydd
Everybody is different.

My Father had laboured on various farms in his youth but then wasn't involved in agriculture. Later in life, when I was a boy he had a small flock of sheep on our few acres here. The sheep were gone some time in my teens, and then I started out with sheep on the folks place from age 18/19.

Obviously I knew it all then the same as I do now :rolleyes: I never paid much attention to his protestations of how I viewed and treated the land, and he let me wreak havoc. Often now, 11 years after his death I keep remembering little snippets of what he had tried to tell me, regarding the importance of the health of the soil and of the place as a whole, about creating habitats for as many things as possible, and many other things that seem so obvious now...

I really had to learn the hard way and am still figuring it out, but it's quite nice to think he would probably approve of the direction things are heading in these days.

Teach the kids all you can, even if at first it appears to fall on stony ground, the seed will probably still be planted. Other than that, I think you have to let go. If you came round to a certain way of thinking yourself, then the apple will probably not fall far from the tree.
Think it's time i talked a bit more about about the bigger picture with him, not just about stock
 

Jonny B88

Member
Location
ballykelly. NI
Question for the collective, oldest boy will be 25 in a couple of months time and he is managing the 50ac we've got a couple of miles up the road, atm he is looking after our sheep and his cattle ( cattle are his wages)
I feel like it's time for him to start learning the financial side of it, he can look after stock ok, i asked if he would like to rent it and he said he would love to.

What is the best way to get him too see
things from a holistic point of view?
If he were to get it now he would probably plough, reseed it fertilize it and use spray.
Father allways let me try things,
Im not going to tell him to farm a certain way, but try and get him to make his own mind up.
I really need to plant a seed in his mind, and let him grow it.
Any suggestions
Youtube?
 
He is managing the 50 acres now anyway but for us, not for himself. I do intend to let him get on with it, thats the best way to learn, but i would rather he farmed it in a holistic way.
Could you offer to ‘buy carbon credits’ from his land, with the proceeds to be reinvested in his business? It seems to be the direction of travel, and could become a serious consideration during his career. I appreciate this could be seen as patronising/ too prescriptive...
 

Sharpy

Member
Livestock Farmer
l think it's terrifying how much has been forgotten, we have no idea of how much, at all.
Clifton park is all about building soil fertility, to grow an arable crop, put very simply. Looking at it from that angle, what's not to like about it, arable farmers on light land, should be looking at that. Fert, sprays and machines, have a lot to answer for, they have made farming easy, but we have gone from using them as a tool, to total reliance, and the removal of stock from arable farms, in little more than 50 yrs. Rotation of crops to build soil fertility has gone, replaced by continuous arable, on many farms. Mixed farming was much more resilient than the single entity type farm, is it for the good, probably not, will it change, again probably not.
Due to various people mentioning him on this forum I have a couple of John Cherringtons books. He had varied farming experiences and a keen mind, but the quote that sticks is in reference to his arable foreman. Something along the lines of "He understands the plethora of sprays and chemicals that today substitute for husbandry" . This was written around 40 years ago..........
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Due to various people mentioning him on this forum I have a couple of John Cherringtons books. He had varied farming experiences and a keen mind, but the quote that sticks is in reference to his arable foreman. Something along the lines of "He understands the plethora of sprays and chemicals that today substitute for husbandry" . This was written around 40 years ago..........
made everything to easy, got to admit they are quite useful................. The writings on the wall though, and perhaps it will save us money, if we have to account and justify the use of them. NVZ has it's pro's and con's, the pro is better use of slurry as a fert, and recalculate our fert usage, and soil testing, compulsory in NVZ areas, once every 4 years, each field has to be sampled.
 
Question for the collective, oldest boy will be 25 in a couple of months time and he is managing the 50ac we've got a couple of miles up the road, atm he is looking after our sheep and his cattle ( cattle are his wages)
I feel like it's time for him to start learning the financial side of it, he can look after stock ok, i asked if he would like to rent it and he said he would love to.

What is the best way to get him too see
things from a holistic point of view?
If he were to get it now he would probably plough, reseed it fertilize it and use spray.
Father allways let me try things,
Im not going to tell him to farm a certain way, but try and get him to make his own mind up.
I really need to plant a seed in his mind, and let him grow it.
Any suggestions
Its great he has an interest, you are lucky. If he rents it, will he judge his success by rent v production? How to think of things in a longer term way? Its a book not about farming but Antifragile by Nissim Taleb is what I wish I had read at 25. I could have avoided a lot of self made problems
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
He is managing the 50 acres now anyway but for us, not for himself. I do intend to let him get on with it, thats the best way to learn, but i would rather he farmed it in a holistic way.
Encourage a "sit down meeting" where you form a holistic financial plan. That's the only true path to holistic business management, eg "we want to make more profit" isn't a goal, just an idea or intention. Everyone has this intent but only a few will plan the how, guided by their why.
This is why so many remain on the fence and/or don't get far from there - they haven't recorded how they're going to get there
 

awkward

Member
Location
kerry ireland
He is managing the 50 acres now anyway but for us, not for himself. I do intend to let him get on with it, thats the best way to learn, but i would rather he farmed it in a holistic way.
In my case ,I'm pushing my son (23) to travel, get the experience of working for others ,the best that he can find and he can learn the value of the money in his pocket as he goes, and hopefully the value of himself aswell.
 

newbie_farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Question for the collective, oldest boy will be 25 in a couple of months time and he is managing the 50ac we've got a couple of miles up the road, atm he is looking after our sheep and his cattle ( cattle are his wages)
I feel like it's time for him to start learning the financial side of it, he can look after stock ok, i asked if he would like to rent it and he said he would love to.

What is the best way to get him too see
things from a holistic point of view?
If he were to get it now he would probably plough, reseed it fertilize it and use spray.
Father allways let me try things,
Im not going to tell him to farm a certain way, but try and get him to make his own mind up.
I really need to plant a seed in his mind, and let him grow it.
Any suggestions
Do you often travel together anywhere? Possibly throw Nicole Masters' audibook on in the truck etc? Buy him Gabe Brown's book for birthday or just leave it lying about, maybe "a friend left it and you thought he'd fancy a read?".

Are there any regnerative or holistic management courses/field days/events coming up anywhere near you? (I'm guessing your in Wales, if you know of any let me know too!) Maybe buy 2 tickets and go with him and see what he thinks about it after the event? I was too young to take on my Dad's business, I would've loved the chance even to just have worked with him and learnt on the job.

If he's going to rent it, perhaps put some stipulations on him renting it. Low input, focus on soil health etc.
 
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@bendigeidfran lead by example. Let him do his way there and you do yours on your bit. When he is the one that writes the cheque for the reseeding he will think more when (if?) it is a disappointment and/or causes more problems with poaching/mineral or health issues etc he will eventually see past the increased grass growth he might see.
When he sees your permanent pasture going well off no inputs and less problems he will start thinking when he writes the next cheque when his reseed is worn out. It's the only way to learn is make the mistakes yourself.
You can still take him to see farms and people but in my experience giving someone something to read is a waste of time. They won't read it and it they do they rarely absorb it. Videos are better but it doesn't mean they pay attention. But seeing something in real life is harder to ignore.
Don't take him anywhere too extreme though. If you took him to see Gabe brown it anyone with grass up to the cows backs he might just laugh and think it's a complete pee take.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ideally he'd spend at least a year away from the farm. It's good on so many levels to see how the world outside the farm works.

It's great that he's given the chance to live by his mistakes early though and while you're around for him to talk to if he has questions. Far too many farmers children in the UK get past middle age before they get free reign.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
@bendigeidfran lead by example. Let him do his way there and you do yours on your bit. When he is the one that writes the cheque for the reseeding he will think more when (if?) it is a disappointment and/or causes more problems with poaching/mineral or health issues etc he will eventually see past the increased grass growth he might see.
When he sees your permanent pasture going well off no inputs and less problems he will start thinking when he writes the next cheque when his reseed is worn out. It's the only way to learn is make the mistakes yourself.
You can still take him to see farms and people but in my experience giving someone something to read is a waste of time. They won't read it and it they do they rarely absorb it. Videos are better but it doesn't mean they pay attention. But seeing something in real life is harder to ignore.
Don't take him anywhere too extreme though. If you took him to see Gabe brown it anyone with grass up to the cows backs he might just laugh and think it's a complete pee take.
And any work you do for him must be charged for. He needs to understand that business has to pay its own way, not rely on handouts be they family or state.

Of course, that means any work he does for you must be paid too.

Note: "paid for" doesn't have to be cash. It can be time owed or good supplied.
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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