"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
    I guess it simply suits their goal -

    "be sustainable, hold onto it for the next generation"

    But the next generation probably doesn't want it, feels pressured to take it on and pay yet another mortgage to the bank over a lifetime

    fudge that, I want enough dripping out the bottom of the bag it pays for itself and our retirement!

    So it's more than long grass and pretty pictures - otherwise it's all shooting from the hip - the PLAN, STAN
    If you don't have a better plan, how can you expect a better result???

    There's absolutely no point making excuses, like, "we don't have enough water" or, "it would cost thousands to subdivide that" - plan to do it, and get it done!!
    Cows drink water and p'iss alot, cattle=water on the landscape, hence my main concern to beat these summer dry spells is grow the food early, put the cattle there to put the water in the equation.
    If it rains, good, well keep them fed
    If it keeps doing this, we'll sell more earlier

    The fundamental mistake we all make, is not to organise our lives enough to make them work!
    Same with grazing, same with financial growth and diversity of investments...

    And so most of my neighbours are looking towards the little details and incremental areas of improvement, while oblivious that their business basics (grazing pasture) are really really flawed.
    And they spend more money fixing that, than they'll ever see in their life
     
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  2. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Sorry for the rant but it had to be said, sure our livelihood as producers falls from the sky (sorry Roy :sorry:) but that's all the help we get.
    Big pedigree bullocks look smashing out in a 50 acre paddock eating what they want, it's great to see the plane or superman putting on the lime and super, but it can be whatever you plan it to be

    Nearly every choice we make will take us towards or away from our holistic goal -but if we haven't written it on a poster to internalise - how do we know?
     
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  3. Blaithin

    Blaithin Member

    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry Pete, I tried to remember how many head you’ve got on how much space but I’ve failed :ROFLMAO: Was it .4 hectare?

    I’m trying to think how I might be able to crossfence this year to get better rotation going. Sadly I’m horrible with figuring out feet to acres to whatever. Guess that’s on my list of crap to Google :censored:

    My Pasture Map is showing me how big of areas you’re roughly dealing with though (since I don’t deal in hectares so really have no clue on their size) But I have to cut these pieces into about 5 smaller areas for my cows to be useful :LOL::LOL:

    9C7ACB68-51CB-45A6-BC22-661CE36B30D5.png
     
  4. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Yeah, that's about right. I've got them very tight, at least until we get some rain.

    They're on a quarter acre at a time, about 33 steps one way, 35 the other way, and I have duck's disease :LOL: if that's any help.

    45? of them in there, and they're getting 2-3 cells a day, half to three-quarters of an acre seems to be maintaining them pretty well.

    My grass isn't very tall, but very very dense, so there's a deceptive amount of feed in them - I guess that's plant memory from years of being overgrazed, they have good memories!!
    So I'm trying to be 'as supportive as I can' and just stomp them down fast, once it's all mixed with the lignified stuff they don't really graze much more but sit and ruminate. And dung a lot :LOL:
     
  5. Blaithin

    Blaithin Member

    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    8 times the animals :ROFLMAO:

    I'm not sure I can manage to cut those areas into 8 smaller units each. Would definitely require investing in more garden hose!
     
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  6. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    As you said though, you have a shorter growing season, and your animals are way bigger than these.
    And have calves at foot, so that's a consideration. How are those wee guys going?

    I just have heifers and bulls and steers so their energy requirement over summer in comfortably warm temperatures is probably a fair bit less, as they are growing on a maintenance ration.
    I don't worry about animal intakes and kgs of DM and all that high tech stuff anymore, I look when I get there.

    A fair part of our holistic goal is about "people" - but it doesn't have anything about calculators in there, no numbers, just our values and aspirations and goals
     
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  7. Interestingly, in the RCS course, there was no mention of "plate meters" ( I don't even know what they are but they've get talked a lot about here ) & they actively discouraged thinking in dry matter / ha or such like.
     
  8. Blaithin

    Blaithin Member

    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm not worried about them getting their requirements, when I consider DM per day it's only in winter rationing. During pasture rotations the focus is how to get them to have the most impact on the pasture. All those areas are anywhere from 0.8 acres to 3.2 acres. While there are areas I would ideally like to keep them completely off this year, there are others I'd like them to be forced onto more. 6 adults and their passel of calves on an acre still have too much room to choose. But the small size of area I'd need to get them to be the proper density is almost not even worth it, especially with little stinker calves who tend to be rough on hotwire.

    As for way bigger animals, considering the midget cattle I have that would probably be debatable :ROFLMAO:
     
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  9. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Yeah, I try not to think about "fundamentals" either as the bigger picture is far more important than "today"
    Today is still relevant! But moving a few times a day means you constantly get that feedback, and adaptability that I like
     
  10. But that's what all the "Which pickup" and "Look how big my shiny new Fendt is" threads are about - those ARE their holistic goals :banghead::poop:
     
    Crofter64, Farmer Roy, ShooTa and 2 others like this.
  11. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    My / our holistic goals are more along the lines of:

    We want financial freedom, via diverse investments and increasingly profitable ranching through mimicking nature's pattern and protecting our soils, our assets

    We want happy, beneficial relationships

    People come first: we want to minimise our workload and maximise our recreation; we want personal, environmental, and ecological health to be at the forefront of all our decisions

    We wish to regenerate our soils by eliminating the actions that we know do harm to them; chemical, physical and emotional stresses are degenerative and will be minimised or avoided


    .... little things like those :rolleyes::)
     
  12. :love:

    Not bad for a first go :whistle:;):D
     
  13. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Still helps to write them down where you can see them!

    I had "$1 Million equity by 30" on my lightswitch for several years, that worked...

    And also the best picture of a ranch on the fridge for many years, with the words "MINE" written on it, positive energy is terribly important for motivation to act.
     
  14. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    20190315_180333.jpg
    Action stations :cool::cool:

    This is about the last paddock they grazed before I changed the system, hence the lawns and roughs. Still a lot of carbon put down.

    My silage fields look sh!t, raped of cover and about 130mm of rainfall since they were cut.
    So these irritators are bound for there next, just calibrated the drill for 2kg WC, 2kg RC, .5kg plantain /ha,

    and after a brew I will head out and at least paint the first lane with some seeds.
    Tractor cab is full of cobweb, just how they should be! (y)

    Cheapest form of Nitrogen, 'seconds' clover seed, $8/kg. About $50/ha including fuel.
     
  15. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    A plate meter is for when you don't trust your instincts.
    It's the equivalent to measuring out your toilet paper with a stretchy ruler, I prefer to use as many squares as I need to achieve the objective

    ..spring grass, summer grass, sheeped grass, winter grass, cow grass - these are all different beasts so to simply measure them by height is completely counterproductive.
    The cow knows where to bite it off, and when to sit down, when to stand up and eat again.
    Look at the herd, they are ready to be moved any time after the first two lift their heads out of the sward - and before there is nothing left.

    Go with your gut, look at where they are going, when they have eaten half where they are, time to move on.
     
  16. “Seconds” is $8/kg? Sounds dear!
     
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  17. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    I think if you go for a named variety it's around $13-15, but VNS is around half the price. Aberlast etc is more.

    I guess it's one of those unfair advantages of living where everyone is making money
     
    holwellcourtfarm and CornishTone like this.
  18. Intesting calcs on the paddock sizes pete - im on quite similar atm with our 60 preg ewes - as mentioned were feeding twice a day ( 2x 31lbs of nutty stuff) and im copying your multi moves
    historically we always fed in troughs in a fenced off zone- which allowed you to put the feed in without being knocked over or short changing one trough...Now im doing it behind the eleccy and its great because theyre getting a fresh 1/3 extra before bed - and i think they enjoy that... i certainly enjoy it.
     
  19. $6-9 for most on our list from memory. Medics can be a bit more. $8 for floor sweepings is taking the p!ss I reckon. $15 is Lucerne territory!
     
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  20. texas pete

    texas pete Member

    Location:
    East Mids
    Charge what the market can stand? :unsure:
     

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