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

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Do you want the wholecrop or a nurse crop for your ley? Planning on trying some annuals in with a herbal ley this spring, not sure yet if we'll cut it or graze it first. Other thought is chuck all the non grass diversity and annuals in in spring then drill grasses in late summer after grazing.
Whole crop for the whole crop primarily with the winter grazing secondary. Sounds like a few things cheap under the whole crop then a few months growth to build stockpile for the winter.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
if you take your w/c off, why not just drill it with rape, or should be early enough for kale, done that before, seriously good crop.
Whatever we do crop wise, you only ever get back, what you put in, by that l mean you get a better crop, if it is put in 'properly'. We have, and still do, double cropping, success depends on getting everything 'right'.
We will try to get x2 cuts of westerwolds before drilling with maize, this spring, very fertile ground, where we don't dry out, and very close to the lagoon. But, if conditions are not right, it wont happen !
 

Farmer Roy

Member
Arable Farmer
Lots of people also can't see the benefit of any plants on the landscape that they didn't put there... today I measured 24°C of difference in soil temperature, 2 metres apart - that's the beauty of the things the stock leave behind them, however you can't always get people to step outside the stories they have told themselves for years and have a look

thats why i love my roly poly :D
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Kale now there’s an idea that might work along with westerwolds. Could drill it into the growing whole crop which should still satisfy the stewardship rules. Maybe just trying to get too many things out of it though.
Only one way to find out I suppose.
while most of our farm can dry out very easily, and expensively, we do have about 30 acres, that usually doesn't, and that gets farmed quite intensively, it has to 'carry the rest' in a bad season.
reason why we double crop rye/maize, but it only works, by getting the basics right. This year, the maize was not ready, when the rye, should be drilled, so w/wheat instead.
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
Has anyone tried undersowing a herbal ley under whole crop and then letting it grow on after harvest to graze in the winter?
Pea/barley whole crop @ 50kg/acre, undersown with a Cotswolds herbal ley mix 13kg/acre. Cut w/c early (milky barley grain stage, some ears not formed) as heavy crop shading ley (10 bales/acre). Drifted sheep over as chicory was bolting, but seeing what @Fenwick was grazing/trampling, could have left it to early winter. Concern would be soft ground & herbs not liking a trampling in winter.

If it wasn't for the 5 year up front grant money, would probably been better off growing the weeds that were there & trampling some.
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Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
Kale now there’s an idea that might work along with westerwolds. Could drill it into the growing whole crop which should still satisfy the stewardship rules. Maybe just trying to get too many things out of it though.
Only one way to find out I suppose.
Tried undersowing combinable pea/barley (100kg/acre) with white clover (3kg/acre) this year, but clover was up to high to combine so mown & bales left in field for cows (turned out yesterday). Broadcast kale/stb. turnip mix onto stubble, but bit late. Clover is more for soil cover/N fixing than cows.
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Farmer Roy

Member
Arable Farmer
Lots of people also can't see the benefit of any plants on the landscape that they didn't put there... today I measured 24°C of difference in soil temperature, 2 metres apart - that's the beauty of the things the stock leave behind them, however you can't always get people to step outside the stories they have told themselves for years and have a look

these pics are from this day, January, 3 years ago, which some may remember was near the end of a fairly challenging & extreme period of 4 or 5 years we went through.
Anyway, I thought I’d highlight the temperature difference in a harsher environment.
Apologies for the picture quality, but the scale on the thermometer goes to 50 C & given how quickly the needle hit it, I’d be confident saying the soil temp in that photo was well above that.
Note that even though the soil isn’t in full shade under the plants, it is still substantially cooler. These pics were all taken at the same time within a metre or two of each other
The differences plants make - even harsh spiky ones that nothing will eat & everyone wants to get rid of. They all serve a function
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Fenwick

Member
Location
Bretagne France
I'll ask this question here before daring the facebook groups!

Does anyone following this thread have any idea on the classes of grasses based upon their place in succession during the regeneration of grasslands?

I.E. early grasses, middle grasses high (or climax) grasses.

Preferably the european C3 grasses, but I'll take anything as I'm not getting far with this!
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I'll ask this question here before daring the facebook groups!

Does anyone following this thread have any idea on the classes of grasses based upon their place in succession during the regeneration of grasslands?

I.E. early grasses, middle grasses high (or climax) grasses.

Preferably the european C3 grasses, but I'll take anything as I'm not getting far with this!
In our situation, I would assume that Poa sp. (June grass, meadow grasses) are probably towards the earlier end of the scale, with cocksfoot/orchardgrass, tall fescue and toetoe being our climax grasses. Hard to really say for sure as the environment has been modified to suit every other imaginable grass yet reverts to cocksfoot, browntop, fescue once you stop getting in the way of them
 

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