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

Discussion in 'Holistic Farming' started by Kiwi Pete, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Compaction at depth, is my main reason for avoiding it.
    Even cattle comparable in weight to a "pickup" ;), although it may have less psi in terms of ground pressure on the surface, it still operates like a roller: because it is continually in contact with the soil it can create a similar effect to a bow-wave from a ship, which disrupts the bonds that hold the soil aggregates together and apart (unsure if you read the several pages where @Clive had to defend his analogy about bridges?)

    By contrast, the weight of your big friendly quadruped, is lifted up and down - and that's why a roller is just like a tyre, it is a perfect design for squeezing the air out and pushing aggregates together.

    If you poke your finger into a birthday cake, the compaction is actually very minor to if you put the same pressure on your cake with a rolling pin and move it, which is why the roading teams use vibrating rollers and moisture to good effect

    Or that's how I see it (n) :)
     
  2. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Beat me to it Tone (y) especially the last bit about "cut or grazed to the deck" which is why I would rather put a vehicle over when there is (literally) tons of cover than after grazing.
    Hence I really want to minimise silaging, that's probably the worst offender here by a long shot - not only removing tons of carbon out of my microbial diet, but running over and over the soil - it's a lot more "ooof" than being on a 100 day round over winter, with some small calves and sheep.
     
  3. oh, so they sort of 'float' do they :unsure:


    I wonder if it would work with Culm measures …this time of year :hilarious:
     
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  4. Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say!

    Cattle/sheep are only effecting a tiny area and causing shallow compaction which, if healthy enough, the soil will readily absorb and recover from.

    Also, using that prickle roller as an example, it clunks along pushing little points in like a hoof, but, unlike a flat roller, doesn’t flatten the surface sealing over all the holes and pores and excluding air and water if used unwisely. Is that fair?
     
  5. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Yeah, that JD DEFINITELY should be on tracks for the Culm Measures :cool:
     
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  6. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    20181206_210134.jpg
    I think it was about here, last year, that I started topping :oops: :banghead:
     
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  7. Treg

    Treg Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    I think Newman Turner would plough grass leys but disc crops residues !?
    A grass ley over 5- 10 years let's the soil recover , whereas cropping every year doesn't give the soil enough recovery time, so then makes sense to shallow till.
     
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  8. Henarar

    Henarar Member

    Location:
    ZumerZet Somerset
    perhaps we should fit spade lugs
    I think that some of these ATV's do more damage with small diameter wide tyres than say a MF 35 would with much taller tyres with good lugs on
    some atv's and even quad's are getting anything but lightweight these days
     
  9. Another day, another meeting. This time the annual police rural engagement meeting in East Herts

    IMG_20181206_100514035.jpg

    I liked this display:

    IMG_20181206_115904436.jpg

    What remains of an Audi Allroad some hare coursers were caught using with no insurance, tax or MOT.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 5:40 PM
  10. Now you mentioned it o think he did plough old grass leys. His kind of ploughing would be different to what people now call ploughing though. Most of everyone ploughs at 9 inches now it seems to he the default depth but I don't know why I'd say it's much too deep for most things. When I use mine it's set as high as I can get away with. 5 or 6 inches at the most was more than enough almost all the time. Older ploughs especially horse drawn ones would barley go that deep. I think horse drawn ploughs went down 4, inches at the most? That's barely more than the turf on the top. No wonder it's taken heavy machinery and cheap diesel to knackers most soils. Occasionally ploughing at those depths under a proper rotation couldn't be doing much damage. When it got easy to do it every year that's when the trouble has been caused. It never gets a chance to recover (n)
     
  11. Henarar

    Henarar Member

    Location:
    ZumerZet Somerset
    going back 30 odd year dad use to spread fert for an arable farmer, he would have had a MF 590 back then so about 3 ton plus the weight of the mounted spreader and half ton of fert, the chap that done the spraying had a landrover based sprayer with lpg tyres, no tramlines back then and you could see the crop damage where he had been far more than where dad had been with the tractor
     
  12. Henarar

    Henarar Member

    Location:
    ZumerZet Somerset
    goodness you wouldn't want to plough 9 inches here :inpain:
     
  13. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    You should see what I can do in my 12 tonne fert truck with its piggy little tractor-grips on :(
    of course the moment the sun winks through is a day too late for Joe Farmer's fert to go on :banghead:
    It's horrendous - but it pays well, and saves me from fluffing about here running the costs up :whistle:(y)
     
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  14. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Shallow ploughing almost seems to be a lost art (n)
    The three things my uncle taught me about the job were:
    Don't drive on the ploughed stuff
    Don't drive in th' furra
    Don't go any deeper than ya need ta

    But then, the plough got parked up for about 32 years while the land got its heart back, it wasn't done of habit or as part of some rotation, just simple pastoral farming.
     
  15. Macsky

    Macsky Member

    Location:
    Highland
    I think Newman turner maybe used the plough once on breaking in an ancient pasture, and maybe even subsoiled, but then that was it, with the land under good management and in a good rotation it shouldn’t be needed again.

    I can’t see ploughing at 4” doing any harm in an old pasture, but what modern plough would manage that? Maybe a heavy disc would be better, as you’re not burying your fertile layer, just cutting it up and mixing it.
     
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  16. Turning over old pasture does release huge quantities of free nitrate though, usually leached away as there are no plants to take it up for weeks........
     
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  17. Treg

    Treg Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    That's the curse of modern machinery, we have it so much easier than our ancestors but use the power in the wrong way:rolleyes:
     
  18. davieh3350

    davieh3350 Member

    Location:
    Pitlochry
    I think Newman Turner wouldve left the plough parked up if he could've blackened the soil some other way.

    interesting to see compaction when you are digging up patches to fix drains. The verges probably grow so well as they get very little traffic on them. Same goes for the strips where fences are. Always remember father saying the ground will rise when he left a generous gap under the bottom wire. It does.
     
  19. Agrispeed

    Agrispeed Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    I'm actually a big fan of ploughing, and deeply. (Snigger) But - Only where appropriate. Ploughing long term grass is a n excellent way of removing compaction, and mixing OM throughout the soil. If its done infrequently (currently aiming for a 10 year rotation at its shortest) then you are unlikely to bring up too much rubbish, so you can get a clean seedbed for pickier grass mixes and not have to spray with too many nasties.

    Trash remaining on the surface for a long time is an indicator of poor soil health IMO.
     
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  20. Or here. If you don't get claybyiu could get shale or boulders.
    To he honest I don't think I could set ours up to plough shallow either. Dad can just look at the plough and give it a tweak and it will turn over great. me by myself not so much :bag: seems to look ok once it's all over though. In my defense I have only ever done less than 50 acres ever so I've only ever set it a few times. Dad had done a lot more than me especially when he improved the ffriddoedd (in bye land I think in English was all gorse and rush before he tipped it over) and the farm next door they bought and improved.
     
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