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Discussion in 'Holistic Farming' started by Kiwi Pete, Apr 21, 2018.
I think that’s a very good point. We have to remeber our own needs and limitations and not be so rigid on our thinking. I have become so obsessed with the daily moves, never managed the twice a day, that I forgot the people in the equation.
Isn’t it true what Del Ficke says: “Bankers, chemical dealers, equipment lots and seed dealers, I just felt everyone was making money but us. I think farmers suffer from Stockholm syndrome and sometimes they are friends with their captors.”
And also “ ..eople in agriculture never apply actual costs because they don’t think their time is worth anything. It blows people away to tally time, equipment and foolishness. In fact, foolishness is probably the biggest money-sucking machine of all.”
So here's a question about stockpiling forage.
My grass was/is horrid. Awful. Chewed way to far down. Most of it I haven't had animals on since July. Some areas have come back quite well, some not as much. My plans were to not really let anyone touch it until it has a good start next year.
I was thinking the other day.
This time of year they say be careful what you graze and mow. The grasses are getting ready to go dormant, if they send resources towards growth right now instead of dormancy, it can be damaging. However, what about once they're truly dormant?
Now I live in an area that they do truly go dormant, not just slowed growth, absolutely no growth. In another month there won't be any risk of that grass thinking it should try to grow a bit more. It won't want to live for at least 6-7 months. Once it's in this completely dormant stage, how much will it damage the growth next spring to graze it? Once it's dormant, grazing the top lower than I'd like during growing shouldn't kill off the root system should it? The plant won't come out of dormancy and go "Oh no, I've been grazed more than 2/3!" and lose root mass, it will just use it's reserves it built for dormancy and grow. Correct?
I've also been putting off spreading my barn cleanings on the ground because I haven't wanted it to go 'Oh nutrients! Grow, grow, grow!' but I do swing back and forth on that one thinking I should be feeding it so it can get through winter as well Figured once it goes dormant I'll spread the barn stuff out to help give an insulating cover that will break down well and give a nice boost in the spring.
would it not fall into the standing hay category.
No clue, never done hay. And nobody around here hay's when there's snow on the ground, it's always cut when it's still growing season.
Or is the term standing hay just how you guys say stockpiled forage?
I guess more or less.
im with you @Blaithin first winter/dormant period and trying to wrap my head around it
its meant to be easier on the maths, as DM doesnt change - but i guess you shouldpick whats more useful to the animals/land/your goals to use first or last - might be worth keeping the tallest as like a drought reserve for the final push into spring?
this might help...
Anyone seen this?
Wonder how Molesworth is doing now?
I don't imagine you'll harm it at all, @Blaithin, poor growing season management is really where you hurt plants.
Unless you plan on completely shaving it, and even then it won't matter in the great scheme of things, as your grass will already be "big and strong", and the soil will be able to handle a little stress.
With regards to your , I'd get it on sooner than later, I believe autumn/fall is the time to use most biologically alive amendments, for the same reasons you'd fall seed a pasture - there likely isn't going to be a shortage of moisture in the short term.
It reverted back to crown management after '38, as per your very interesting film
Department of Conservation now run it, they've replaced the sheep with cattle and it's returned to its former glory, bar the battle scars from the fires and overgrazing.
We don’t usually fall seed here.
Any frost seeding has to be done after all chance of germination is through. If you seed and it’s warm enough to germinate, there’s no way for the sprout to establish and survive the winter.
Yeah that was probably a stupid metaphor for Albertan climate
But what is there now, in terms of cover?
Grass will still come back from overgrazing, millions do just that.
In terms of a stockpile, it may help to think of it as "deferred" ie you are grazing it late, not early. Spring will be spring, either way - regardless of how you treat it while it's dormant
We have more dormancy in summer if moisture runs out, and I well and truly ate any drought reserve we had the pasture merely adapted by putting it's reserve into new tillers to replace what I'd killed, and we probably altered the balance slightly - I don't expect the Timothy liked it much but it won't be gone.
The grass is coming back, I’m not worried about that.
Just those illustrations showing grazing affecting root mass, over grazing depleting it. Those all pertain to when the plant is growing. In my mind it doesn’t effect the plant the same during dormancy. The root system is dormant so won’t die off as the top is grazed. But I don’t KNOW that, I’m just assuming it
I don’t want to graze it as a stockpile in dormancy if that’s going to inhibit it’s start in spring. I’ve left it alone this long so that it will perform better next year. I don’t need to graze it now, and there is some not tall enough to bother with anyway. I’m just trying to get my head around stockpiled grazing.
There are areas with little to no litter for cover. These are the areas I’m planning on focusing the barn junk on. But it’s not a huge rush. The frost is purely on the surface still, it’s not going down any distance yet as daytime highs are still well above zero most days. Also snow is a natural insulator, helping plants survive the cold. I still have time to get the barn junk on and figure if it’s amongst snowfall it’s not a big deal and will help soak up and retain moisture for the spring as well as providing insulation against extreme cold. I’ve read advice for stopping fertilizing garden plants and trees and shrubs at this time of year because it will trigger energy to be directed towards growing more when they should be turning their energies inward. I’m just applying that information to my pastures as well as my garden. But I do realize winter is a different kind of season here than most others on the forum have to manage.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that your plants go dormant because of moisture. Here they go dormant due to temperature.
Lack of moisture will inhibit growth. Here there is still moisture for growth to go on. It’s the cold that is the issue and the cold doesn’t always happen gradually enough for a plant to react in time. If it’s going one direction (growing) it can’t quickly transition to dormancy if the temperature drops and could suffer.
Thanks Pete. Sounds like a cool place.
How did I not know about this when I was in NZ? I reckon I must've missed out on so much.
But this is my source of information so who knows
What's the use for your grass in the springtime? Will you have anything that will calve/lamb that needs a certain nutritional requirement?
As you say, I'm working on assumption as well, but my assumption is the same as yours, and that's to graze as you see fit over winter.
Once the snow melts, half senescent grass isn't going to be as efficient as a fresh new blade will be, so any detrimental effects I would expect to be a matter of days.
Spring hit with a bang here, my regrowth rate is through the roof, as you'd expect with good managment and great weather!
We're understocked already.
my ewes were in here last week
and I just moved the lambed ones off this, to protect from overgrazing..
and let them in here.
20 ewes with their 40 lambs