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

cows sh#t me to tears

Member
Livestock Farmer
shite always happens, one reason contractors, with newer machines, look attractive.
and that is the downside of old kit, it breaks down, usually at the most inconvenient time.
we had a tine bearing go, in our p/harrow, went to get at it, it was under the gearbox, loads of nut/bolt removal, got down to bearing, couldn't extract it, without a 'special' tool, £456, got one made up for £50, bearings were half price, from local 'specialist' supplier, used to be express bearings, diff name now, than from dealer. Bearings went on our mower, 1 was 'special', had a groove for a circlip, find one at local main dealers ? 48 hrs delivery to dealer #####, found another bearing supplier, not specially ag suppliers, 3 on shelf, half dealer price,

But, as you say, you really don't want a breakdown, in 'action', and often you do
never breaks down sitting in the shed.....I stock a full set of bearings and 2 left and right shear hubs. Blades, nuts, bolts.. Simply have to be self sufficient incase of Saturday morning of a long weekend.....
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
never breaks down sitting in the shed.....I stock a full set of bearings and 2 left and right shear hubs. Blades, nuts, bolts.. Simply have to be self sufficient incase of Saturday morning of a long weekend.....
our local mr fixit, went and died on us, 82, bet he had a bearing, probably one in his workshop now, finding it, would be like a needle in a haystack.
The problem now, virtually no one keeps spares anymore, relying on overnight delivery, which in itself, has become unreliable. Those firms that decide to increase stocks, have to pay for it, which means prices have to rise.
 

cows sh#t me to tears

Member
Livestock Farmer
our local mr fixit, went and died on us, 82, bet he had a bearing, probably one in his workshop now, finding it, would be like a needle in a haystack.
The problem now, virtually no one keeps spares anymore, relying on overnight delivery, which in itself, has become unreliable. Those firms that decide to increase stocks, have to pay for it, which means prices have to rise.
Hence why I keep my own "critical" stock. Same as when we did all tube silage. Started keeping nearly 12 months bags in advance after the ship broke down from Canada one year and was towed back to NZ in the middle of September........ Being as Provonost tube machines need specialist bags only made in Canada for provonost there's no where else to turn in a supplychain fùçķup.
 

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
@holwellcourtfarm having a word.
6CCB3DF4-5AFC-4F3B-BFEB-D9C67907F4DA.jpeg
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Looks about right to me. Without putting a label on it it just is what it is.
interestingly Greg Judy didn’t have much to say about Jaime Elizondo yesterday.
he did say that with the cattle we saw shifted they were about right and there was some litter there but not a third left
What were the cattle grazing?

One thing that I'll note here is that the "leave ⅓" is absolutely fine for stock grazing cover-crops, or where you want to add a layer of heavier residue. You could leave ⅔, or more. You could use a crimper roller or a sprayer or plough

It's just that permanent pastures are not the same as "that", or at least there are other possible things that work better in practice unless you have a thing for running out of grass and "rolling coal"

Most all of the advocates of top-grazing / leaf-driven have a different plan for winter - feeding animals hay (or shipping animals out) (or planting special crops)

The group who advocate more intensive grazing / root-driven tend to graze forage all year round because they've got forage all year round to graze - there is zero machinery discussion but maybe one around selecting animals that fit.

Hence my way isn't going to align 100% with either of these "formulas" - but I am leaning more towards 'the small efficient bovine' and 'the slow efficient grazing' because I can go drive a machine somewhere else.
 
Last edited:
What were the cattle grazing?

One thing that I'll note here is that the "leave ⅓" is absolutely fine for stock grazing cover-crops, or where you want to add a layer of heavier residue. You could leave ⅔, or more. You could use a crimper roller or a sprayer or plough

It's just that permanent pastures are not the same as "that", or at least there are other possible things that work better in practice unless you have a thing for running out of grass and "rolling coal"

Most all of the advocates of top-grazing / leaf-driven have a different plan for winter - feeding animals hay (or shipping animals out)

The group who advocate more intensive grazing / root-driven tend to graze forage all year round because they've got forage all year round to graze - there is zero machinery discussion but maybe one around selecting animals that fit.

Hence my way isn't going to align 100% with either of these "formulas" - but I am leaning more towards 'the small efficient bovine' and 'the slow efficient grazing' because I can go drive a machine somewhere else.
There's some new Graeme Hand videos out. He's doing a series for some Victoria farmers' group, might be of interest.
 

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
What were the cattle grazing?

One thing that I'll note here is that the "leave ⅓" is absolutely fine for stock grazing cover-crops, or where you want to add a layer of heavier residue. You could leave ⅔, or more. You could use a crimper roller or a sprayer or plough

It's just that permanent pastures are not the same as "that", or at least there are other possible things that work better in practice unless you have a thing for running out of grass and "rolling coal"

Most all of the advocates of top-grazing / leaf-driven have a different plan for winter - feeding animals hay (or shipping animals out)

The group who advocate more intensive grazing / root-driven tend to graze forage all year round because they've got forage all year round to graze - there is zero machinery discussion but maybe one around selecting animals that fit.

Hence my way isn't going to align 100% with either of these "formulas" - but I am leaning more towards 'the small efficient bovine' and 'the slow efficient grazing' because I can go drive a machine somewhere else.
They were on a herbal ley. And were taking more than a third, there was a bit of litter there. They were full and dung scores were decent and not bawling to be shifted.
I think the truth of where to be is probably somewhere between the 2 camps of total grazing and leave a third and more importantly to be flexible depending on many factors.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
got our cows on a red clover ley, case of having to, and running the hill with lots of plantain and clover, buggers are stuffed, and refuse to move, at anything faster, than crawler gear. While not happy about feeding it, it will give the grazing grounds time to recover. Rye grass just heads, the other grasses, are growing, just very slowly, certainly shows herbal growth potential !
But, from what we have learnt, we have the confidence to alter, and adapt to changing the 'plan', and that's all that is needed really, not many yrs ago, we would be panicking, now, silage clamp is full, heap of good hay, maize looks well, and corn looks great, so, there is no need to panic, all bases covered, you just have to realise that.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
There's some new Graeme Hand videos out. He's doing a series for some Victoria farmers' group, might be of interest.
Yes, Graeme's been pretty busy since his shift. He's always really interesting to catch up with and interested in where we're up to.

I think it helps to arrive at a place via holistic management as opposed to "wanting result X" as you are actually authoring your future with HM, not necessarily copying someone's past or even overly concerned with your own past.

Being concerned with the past is OK but consider that if you really dislike being stopped at the lights, then it can be enough to stop you going into town at all!
And I think that's what's different about HM practicioners, a forward-looking approach, not "a reaction"... a question where the answer should be?
 

crashbox

Member
Livestock Farmer
got our cows on a red clover ley, case of having to, and running the hill with lots of plantain and clover, buggers are stuffed, and refuse to move, at anything faster, than crawler gear.
Had just the same experience!

Shame we've not had a drop of rain since we fed if off 3+ weeks ago, and it was dry then...
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Had just the same experience!

Shame we've not had a drop of rain since we fed if off 3+ weeks ago, and it was dry then...
clovers very green, and flowering, companion prg, headed couple of weeks ago, and isn't very green, at all.
grasses are growing, just not fast enough. The changes we have made,, over the past few years, have basically given us flexibility, or resilience. Couple of yrs ago, l would be panicking by now. We have down sized, but thanks to rising milk price, income is about the same. As said before, aiming to get as far, as we can, in self sufficiency.
So, main clamp for grass silage is full, sample taken, looks and smells good, analysis will come back, next week, decent stack of hay, smelt really nice, so rep took a sample. Wheat looks A1, barley looks good, even the dd stuff. Maize is away now, 1 field would like a drink. Some more silage to make next week, 22 acres, certainly some more hay to make, and sniffing after a bit more. Summing up, we are on for a good year, what's to worry about ? Cows are heading towards drying off.
One could say, mission achieved - but that tempts fate. We have learnt a lot from this thread, but perhaps the biggest gain of all, is confidence, confidence to carry on, whilst getting some stick, from neighbours !

But l do think dairy cows need a better forage, than some beef cattle, turn them into overstood seeded grass, and milk will drop. But it is relatively easy, to produce quality silage, and cows respond to it. I feel we have halved the work load, which in turn, has allowed us to concentrate on the 'detailed' work, that often never got done, which in turn, produces the goods. Changing back to hols, has produced some more decisions, they are exceeding, expectation, and thinking of reducing further, but increasing yield up, again. Mixed feelings on it, thinking, less cows, same milk, larger acreage to run over, is it regenerative ? Or intensive farming ?
The other big question, is fert. Is our slow growth, lack of N, or lack of moisture, I rather think its both, we have to learn the correct balance there.
But, resilience appears to have been learnt, and achieved ?
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Happy birthday for yesterday @Kiwi Pete

Sorry I'm late, was busy nagging a few folk :ROFLMAO:

Almost 5 years since I landed at Leeside, time I was back to see the changes methinks.... :unsure:
Thanks very much - certainly no apology required!
I don't advertise the anniversary, as I was only born once 😏

Glad to see you fulfilling on your intention, being a person who makes a profound difference in the world is a perfect gift to those around you 🙂 it really is.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Had just the same experience!

Shame we've not had a drop of rain since we fed if off 3+ weeks ago, and it was dry then...
What length of dry spell would you consider to be "likely" for your location, not likely to happen every year but likely to happen in the sense of "it's impacting us" across a decade?

I don't know the ins and outs of UK topography and microclimate - our shortest "dry spell" in the past 5 years has been approx 11½ weeks, and more often 16-18 weeks.

It's quite a shock for a "summer-safe" part of the country and has definitely shaped our plan of attack - for the better, as it rules out a lot of strategies to deal with that hiatus.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
What length of dry spell would you consider to be "likely" for your location, not likely to happen every year but likely to happen in the sense of "it's impacting us" across a decade?

I don't know the ins and outs of UK topography and microclimate - our shortest "dry spell" in the past 5 years has been approx 11½ weeks, and more often 16-18 weeks.

It's quite a shock for a "summer-safe" part of the country and has definitely shaped our plan of attack - for the better, as it rules out a lot of strategies to deal with that hiatus.
all you have to do, is realise that things are altering, and adapt your farm, to the prevalent weather you get. As l said before, what we have learnt, is confidence, confidence to go out and do 'things' against the 'normal' practices, not to listen to the silver tongues of reps trying to sell you xy or z.
I have always thought 'outside of the box', gone with my gut feeling, but many are not like that, and its difficult for them, to change, but for anyone reading this, that has doubts, you can do some very simple, low cost things, that soon show results, there is no right, or wrong way, no rule book ( yet ), you can use fert/spray.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Do they alter much?
There seem to be exactly the same complaints I heard about farming when I was a bare-kneed bairn

it's too wet
it's too dry now
can't make hay
silage is turning to hay already
fert is necessary
fert is too dear
tractor is necessary
tractors are too dear
when IS it going to rain
when is going to stop??


that's maybe 30 years and the 30 before that wouldn't surprise us much?
Hence I wonder if much has altered -or if it's like one of those bad dreams you can't wake up in 😅
 

Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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