"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
    Quite interesting, I will go back and watch the end when I'm not pretending to work!
    Soil looked a bit flogged - needs a couple of years in spreading thistles to bring it right!! :bag:
    Semi seriously, that's why we have pioneer plants (weeds) - they fix this type of induced degradation - ask any ploughman what the soil is like under a big patch of thistle...
    A few worms here now, we had almost 40mm and they came to the surface to enjoy it Screenshot_20190110-091503_Gallery.jpg
     
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  2. Samcowman

    Samcowman Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Kiwi Pete, Treg and hendrebc like this.
  3. I saw! I had a very quick look at your profile when i saw a Sam had liked my comment and guessed it might be you. Haven't you used one of Sadie's charollais bulls? I remember you saying on here somewhere and I was meant to ask you in February how easy calving they are.
     
  4. Karliboy

    Karliboy Member

    Location:
    West Yorkshire
  5. Samcowman

    Samcowman Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Yeah I’ve used one of their bulls. Calves should be arriving in a month so waiting to see on that. Messaged her tonight about another one though as had to clear a blonde out earlier than expected.
     
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  6. Well I've had a reply over my comment on that post about the worm casts. It's meant for spraying on playing fields and the like. Not sure I'd want my kid playing on grass that has been sprayed with something to irritate worms though :scratchhead:
     
  7. BobTheSmallholder

    Location:
    Fife
    I'm rubbish at foreign languages! Lived in Oz for a year working in a coal mine (don't tell Roy!) and it put me off going back even though I could have earned a six figure salary while destroying the planet.

    I love Scotland and the more I learn about my family history (goes back to the 1300's) the more I want to buy a chunk of the highlands and turn it into my piece of paradise.

    Saw a post from a guy who has bought some ex-sitka plantation which is rough as anything and is starting to use some animal pressure and mulches etc to make it productive again. I see the potential in pretty much anything, there is a nice wee Xmas tree farm for sale in Aberdeenshire that would make a lovely farm once the bloody trees were gone! Also a few old quarries around and some plantation etc, I just need the prices to halve and some kind of guarantee I'd get PP for a small house.

    One thing that cheered me up today is that there is going to be a 3 day intro to holistic management being run just down the road in Anstruther… the good word is spreading!


    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/holi...B3tKpQKjDgdQDKTX1QsFR3y0phhJmZZl08_9Sq1ikHMw4
     

  8. Good video worth watching. I hope it works :banghead:
     
  9. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Worked fine!
    I often wonder how much different we'd view necessary farm expenditure if hay was still the norm, and not ensiling everything to "save time and money and hassle"....

    I shared to a horsey friend, who has them on "pale green carpet pasture" all year around..

    Mind you, feed is beginning to suffer here now with the dry. Could be time to lose a few cattle.
     
  10. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    20190113_130302.jpg ...so.

    We're getting through the summer now, still not the rainfall we'd hoped for, but we don't rely too much on hope this year.
    12mm overnight, and 38mm last weekend, 90mm 6 weeks ago.. we are still holding on OK although the covers are dropping back from very high to what most would think are more acceptable. 20190112_211242.jpg
    In short, we're now overgrazing, so I'm changing the grazing a little (easy to do) to minimise utilisation.
    Square cells are great for utilisation, so I'm moving away from that to longer, narrower strips, get them moving up and down more to force the trample of harder, more persistent grasses and give the thistles a hiding too.
    This has meant the individual animal growth has suffered a little - but the per hectare is about the same or better.

    Still about one hectare per day or under, but I've gone to twice-daily moves just to enhance the impact. We've gone from more mobs to fewer mobs, and due to sell some surplus stock to areas with more rainfall (everywhere else, typically).
    I think we'll sell a line of calves for about double what they owe us, a couple of hereford heifers that don't really spin my wheels, and last years steers can also go.
    Bulls gaining 1.8-1.9kg per day.

    But, the 6 paddocks we took silage from are bouncing back, albeit slowly, and we are only a couple of days shy of where the plan said we'd be, so I'm pretty happy with how it's going (my grazing plan had assumed slightly faster regrowth rates, but that's by the by).

    We were due to graze this on the 14th and they went in on the evening of the 12th.
     
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  11. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    20190105_172547.jpg
    But then, there are two types of overgrazing - the occasional eating into your reserves, and the habitual "the weather needs to play ball" type.
    This paddock of my mates had sheep on it for almost a month :inpain: and he was in a hurry to get the baleage moved so he could put them back in here :inpain::inpain::inpain:
     
  12. bitwrx

    bitwrx Member

    Bloody hell. Again, the difference between your patch and your mate's bit is genuinely astonishing.

    Would love to know how the total kg liveweight gained per ha would compare.
     
  13. excellent video
    thanks for sharing
    you should post that on every thread you come across
     
  14. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    I don't have any idea of his figures, however I do know we make more profit from 40ha than they do off 600ha or so.

    Seems an awful difference just for walking out and rolling up some polywires....

    We'll put about 280kg on 100 cattle and sell 90 lambs @48kg, not counting grazing over winter where we put about 8-10kg on 400 hoggets.
    So that's about 910kg/ha or so.

    He'll sell 2400 lambs @44kg and 40 calves at c. 300kg so about 200kg/ha.

    The main difference is that they use fertilisers, and animal health products, and grow winter crops etc - we do none of that.

    Our main cost is our finance and insurance, (which I'm fortunate enough not to need but have anyway) it's more the principle; I need to show the kids that they can do this, too!
    The only variable costs here are the silage, and costs of hauling stock here to fatten. The rest would be here even if the farm was empty.
     
  15. Chae1

    Chae1 Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    Question on grass fields, whenever I plough up a old grass ley the ground is hard like a road, it's a struggle to get plough in ground. Fields cap and water lyes on top.

    Why is this? Going on my own thoughts and theories on here and direct drilling this shouldn't happen. These fields have been grass for up to ten years. Some only seen grazing and fert spreader, no heavy silage gear.
     
  16. Treg

    Treg Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    Some of that is soil type , I have fields that take a pounding - silage / winter grazing & plough like butter & other that have less hard use but are hard as concrete .
    I would suggest putting in deep rooting herbs to help with soil conditioning.
     
  17. Chae1

    Chae1 Member

    Location:
    Aberdeenshire
    After it's been ploughed out of grass first time it's fine once back in arable rotation.
     
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  18. Treg

    Treg Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    Your aerating the soil once your ploughing regularly so won't get the same problem ( unless continually ploughing) also you've ploughed in the grass ley which may lift Organic matter levels for the short term.
     
  19. Henarar

    Henarar Member

    Location:
    ZumerZet Somerset
    never worked that out for here and I couldn't get a spot on figure as we don't keep accurate records but will have a go at a fag packet job as its interesting and the difference to your mate is amazing
     

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