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

Farmer Roy

Member
Arable Farmer
White Oak Pastures

"Nowadays, I love the term “teeming with life”- however, that was not always the case for me.

I spent the first half of my life searching my pastures for something to kill; weeds, insects, fungus, parasites, and any other living thing that was not part of the monoculture that I was trying to create. Maintaining a monoculture is difficult. Nature abhors a monoculture. You have to fight her every day to maintain one.

I fought her with "cides". Cide - as in pesticide, insecticide, fungicide, etc., is from the latin word "to kill". I literally scouted this farm daily looking for a problem that I could correct by killing the symptoms. In retrospect, it was a badly misguided way to operate an ecosystem.

Now, we make our living by keeping the cycles of nature operating optimally. The attached video helps me make this point.

As we do not commonly mow our pastures, what this video demonstrates surprised everyone, even me.

For some context, we are working to manage a really problematic, non-native, invasive weed called “tropical soda apple”. Animals only eat the fruit and it quickly dominates the native plants. We have found that we can get partial control by spraying it with apple cider vinegar, which works best if we mow ahead of it. We are mowing small sections of the pasture at a time.

And damn! Look at the insect life that is thriving in our pastures! It is no wonder our bird population is thriving when our pastures are teeming with life. Plants, animals, insects, microbes, and the cycles of nature are rocking at White Oak Pastures!

The circle of life is birth - growth - death - decay - and repeat in perpetuity. We thrive by supporting this cycle in every way that we can. Fighting it is futile and results in terrible unintended consequences."

- Will Harris

#radag #regenerative #soilhealth #animalimpact #regenerativefarming #regenerativeagriculture #holisticmanagement #pastureraised #radicallytraditionalfarming #healthysoil

 

Tyedyetom

Member
White Oak Pastures

"Nowadays, I love the term “teeming with life”- however, that was not always the case for me.

I spent the first half of my life searching my pastures for something to kill; weeds, insects, fungus, parasites, and any other living thing that was not part of the monoculture that I was trying to create. Maintaining a monoculture is difficult. Nature abhors a monoculture. You have to fight her every day to maintain one.

I fought her with "cides". Cide - as in pesticide, insecticide, fungicide, etc., is from the latin word "to kill". I literally scouted this farm daily looking for a problem that I could correct by killing the symptoms. In retrospect, it was a badly misguided way to operate an ecosystem.

Now, we make our living by keeping the cycles of nature operating optimally. The attached video helps me make this point.

As we do not commonly mow our pastures, what this video demonstrates surprised everyone, even me.

For some context, we are working to manage a really problematic, non-native, invasive weed called “tropical soda apple”. Animals only eat the fruit and it quickly dominates the native plants. We have found that we can get partial control by spraying it with apple cider vinegar, which works best if we mow ahead of it. We are mowing small sections of the pasture at a time.

And damn! Look at the insect life that is thriving in our pastures! It is no wonder our bird population is thriving when our pastures are teeming with life. Plants, animals, insects, microbes, and the cycles of nature are rocking at White Oak Pastures!

The circle of life is birth - growth - death - decay - and repeat in perpetuity. We thrive by supporting this cycle in every way that we can. Fighting it is futile and results in terrible unintended consequences."

- Will Harris

#radag #regenerative #soilhealth #animalimpact #regenerativefarming #regenerativeagriculture #holisticmanagement #pastureraised #radicallytraditionalfarming #healthysoil

when I was at school I can remember the front number plate on the car would be covered with flies and insects, it’s not now.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
This is the state of grass growth in mid Hertfordshire now, this is the second cut (about 8 weeks after first cut) on heavy clay land managed intensively by a very experienced hay crop grower.

20220803_093354.jpg
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
This is the state of grass growth in mid Hertfordshire now, this is the second cut (about 8 weeks after first cut) on heavy clay land managed intensively by a very experienced hay crop grower.

View attachment 1054427
think positive thoughts, it won't need much drying.
a problem we may have to cope with more often, or so we are told, and equally likely to be a wash out next year !
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
think positive thoughts, it won't need much drying.
a problem we may have to cope with more often, or so we are told, and equally likely to be a wash out next year !
True. Dad's neighbour,has been buying the standing crop for years to make hay. It had fertiliser for first cut but no point putting any more on as it's hardly rained.

Glad I'm not grazing cattle this year. Everyone around here has been feeding them at pasture for weeks. The grass is dormant now. If it rains sufficiently before the temperatures drop too low them we will see a spring flush of grass in the autumn. We've seen that before.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
True. Dad's neighbour,has been buying the standing crop for years to make hay. It had fertiliser for first cut but no point putting any more on as it's hardly rained.

Glad I'm not grazing cattle this year. Everyone around here has been feeding them at pasture for weeks. The grass is dormant now. If it rains sufficiently before the temperatures drop too low them we will see a spring flush of grass in the autumn. We've seen that before.
France drought: Parched towns left short of drinking water https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-62436468
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
True. Dad's neighbour,has been buying the standing crop for years to make hay. It had fertiliser for first cut but no point putting any more on as it's hardly rained.

Glad I'm not grazing cattle this year. Everyone around here has been feeding them at pasture for weeks. The grass is dormant now. If it rains sufficiently before the temperatures drop too low them we will see a spring flush of grass in the autumn. We've seen that before.
we start drying off shortly, or after the TB test next week, so that will take some pressure of what grass is left, its having some left, that's the shock.
But it really is getting dry now, even the plantain dying off, in places. Loads of white clover appearing, where grass has died off, they must be from the seed bank, which will help in another year, because its dying off as well !
Combine here tomorrow, so another job getting done, due to go back to a IRG and Persian clover, after a dosing of slurry, will have to wait for rain, before sowing.
The maize is loving is loving this sun, about the last locally to go in, by 2 or 3 weeks, and better than a lot. Rapid growth, without a check, established ground cover, and away it went.

But, l am so pleased we decided to be proactive, and changed our leys/systems etc, we would be in a real mess, if we hadn't. One thing, is annoying me, the couple of bits, we only cut, pp, no fert or stock, for years, are looking nice and green, there won't be volume, its the colour.
But telling us something as well.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
True. Dad's neighbour,has been buying the standing crop for years to make hay. It had fertiliser for first cut but no point putting any more on as it's hardly rained.

Glad I'm not grazing cattle this year. Everyone around here has been feeding them at pasture for weeks. The grass is dormant now. If it rains sufficiently before the temperatures drop too low them we will see a spring flush of grass in the autumn. We've seen that before.
I hope you get it, we didn't get it in time.

Made up for it once the temperatures dropped though.. it was seriously wet for a while.
 

Treg

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
True. Dad's neighbour,has been buying the standing crop for years to make hay. It had fertiliser for first cut but no point putting any more on as it's hardly rained.

Glad I'm not grazing cattle this year. Everyone around here has been feeding them at pasture for weeks. The grass is dormant now. If it rains sufficiently before the temperatures drop too low them we will see a spring flush of grass in the autumn. We've seen that before.
Started feeding the cows silage here, never had to do that with the Suckler cows in August herd here before.
Yes I think alot of us may be reliant on a autumn flush this year.
 

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Started feeding the cows silage here, never had to do that with the Suckler cows in August herd here before.
Yes I think alot of us may be reliant on a autumn flush this year.
Feeding pretty much everything here. Did second cut clover silage a couple of weeks ago yielded half what was expected. Have got some forage crop to go in down Cornwall when we move which if it rains should help the winter feed situation.
 

Treg

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
We started feeding earlier in 2018 after making very little silage, nowhere near as bad here this year "yet"
Had a much better 1st cut than 2018 but didn't need to buffer feed that year , have several fields on 60 day breaks but they look no different than fields that have been grazed 7 days ago.
 
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Henarar

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
Feeding pretty much everything here. Did second cut clover silage a couple of weeks ago yielded half what was expected. Have got some forage crop to go in down Cornwall when we move which if it rains should help the winter feed situation.
I drove past our second cut on the way to Honiton show, first time I have seen it since we done the first cut, looks a bit green but I don't think I will be rushing up there with the mower though, see what tis like in a couple weeks it may be better to just let the keep sheep have it.
 

Treg

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
Feeding pretty much everything here. Did second cut clover silage a couple of weeks ago yielded half what was expected. Have got some forage crop to go in down Cornwall when we move which if it rains should help the winter feed situation.
Will you take over any silage stocks when you move in or will you have to start from scratch?
A sheltered part of the county there so hopefully you'll be able to have a short winter .
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
our saving grace was the massive first cut. I cannot quite work out why it was so large, less than half fert, sheep til mid march, it should not have followed. But, l am very lucky it did, just wondering if it will do the same next year ..............
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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