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

Blaithin

Member
Location
Alberta, Canada

Blaithin

Member
Location
Alberta, Canada
She's such a menace, we may have weaned her off milk a year ago, but there's no weaning our Horse off ATTENTION

Always quite impressed by how adapted they are to rough tucker, the others will be at the gate waiting, where the Herefords will still be eating.
That's because they're only capable of two thoughts.

I'm hungry. Must eat everything in sight.

and

I give up. I want to die.

Cross your fingers she never moves on to the second one.
 

Karliboy

Member
Location
West Yorkshire
Had a couple dry windy days so took a chance and got stock into a couple of meadows for a little bit it’s bloody soft under foot still though
D9B23571-7CED-4EDD-B65C-6E032C4B143D.jpeg
53C9B532-DE48-4A3D-B310-A30825D7E439.jpeg
FCF128D0-D7FE-40C7-82EE-37FC72EDF7FC.jpeg

This is the main problem with my land being so steep we get lots of this when it’s anything more than damp
7FF106DB-1E85-4219-82B1-FEC0C82964A9.jpeg

I will probably end up with the roller out at some point when it dry up a lot as these hoof marks can’t half hold water for a long time which never helps improving things as grass never grows in them.
What do others do with such issues if they have them?
 

tinsheet

Member
Location
west somerset
Had a couple dry windy days so took a chance and got stock into a couple of meadows for a little bit it’s bloody soft under foot still thoughView attachment 837333View attachment 837329View attachment 837331
This is the main problem with my land being so steep we get lots of this when it’s anything more than damp View attachment 837332
I will probably end up with the roller out at some point when it dry up a lot as these hoof marks can’t half hold water for a long time which never helps improving things as grass never grows in them.
What do others do with such issues if they have them?
Similar here with the foot marks, sheep do a great job of levelling!
 
I make a feature of them, those big holes are effectively funnels to trap water that would otherwise end up in a river, funnels it into the subsoil so it can leave any sediment, and the water comes out the springs instead - clean

Also if it does get dry dry, and you have low covers by default, then again those funnels will help out, because they'll be where the soil cracks apart from and those cracks will let the rain in.

That's why I go out in the middle of the night and put my cattle on the hillsides when It's teeming down, I don't want to increase the water-holding and depth of soil on the flatter areas nearly as much as I do on the slopes - this is how you increase the effectiveness all the other stuff you do to improve soil depth, resilience, and your water cycle
 
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Karliboy

Member
Location
West Yorkshire
I make a feature of them, those big holes are effectively funnels to trap water that would otherwise end up in a river, funnels it into the subsoil so it can leave any sediment, and the water comes out the springs instead - clean

Also if it does get dry dry, and you have low covers by default, then again those funnels will help out, because they'll be where the soil cracks apart from and those cracks will let the rain in.

That's why I go out in the middle of the night and put my cattle on the hillsides when It's teeming down, I don't want to increase the water-holding and depth of soil on the flatter areas nearly as much as I do on the slopes - this is how you increase the effectiveness all the other stuff you do to improve soil depth, resilience, and your water cycle
I understand what your saying there Pete in what could be a dry environment like your own, but in ours where last year was a once in a lifetime event dry spell and this year has been a relatively wet one once we got into late June I can easily end up with a lot of soil showing and nothing growing especially on 40ish day rotations like this year as it grew that quickly but the divots were still black and water logged and were then making more on the next round.
I’m thinking about getting a lightish roller (mine is full of concreate) just to smooth things out without trying to create to much compaction. Or maybe I could Harrow with old drag harrows with spikes up.
I could be just worrying to much as feeling stressed a little as can’t get stock inside until these sodding bulls off my dads bugger to market to free shed up, But things are looking shitty in places for sure.
I does have all winter to settle back down naturally I suppose.
I would have had them in 2 weeks ago and calves weaned now so if it did dry up cows could have gone back out.
Anyway whinge over 🙄
 

Sharpy

Member
I understand what your saying there Pete in what could be a dry environment like your own, but in ours where last year was a once in a lifetime event dry spell and this year has been a relatively wet one once we got into late June I can easily end up with a lot of soil showing and nothing growing especially on 40ish day rotations like this year as it grew that quickly but the divots were still black and water logged and were then making more on the next round.
I’m thinking about getting a lightish roller (mine is full of concreate) just to smooth things out without trying to create to much compaction. Or maybe I could Harrow with old drag harrows with spikes up.
I could be just worrying to much as feeling stressed a little as can’t get stock inside until these sodding bulls off my dads bugger to market to free shed up, But things are looking shitty in places for sure.
I does have all winter to settle back down naturally I suppose.
I would have had them in 2 weeks ago and calves weaned now so if it did dry up cows could have gone back out.
Anyway whinge over 🙄
Got to agree with you Karliboy, I would say that heavy poaching on that type of ground with lots of rainfall will lead to the water soaking under the grass instead of running off, thereby creating a floating sward effect as the water moves downhill over the sodden subsoil, which means that as soon as cattle go in again it will tear to bits.
@Kiwi Pete you get longish dry spells followed by wet spells. Here we get months of damp, not necessarily torrential weather, with humidity in the high ninetys. The ground never dries out. Officially a drought here is a fortnight without precipitation. Droughts are very rare, main bother here is getting rid of excess water, and I think @Karliboy is the same. Water has never really been a limiting factor here.
 
Got to agree with you Karliboy, I would say that heavy poaching on that type of ground with lots of rainfall will lead to the water soaking under the grass instead of running off, thereby creating a floating sward effect as the water moves downhill over the sodden subsoil, which means that as soon as cattle go in again it will tear to bits.
@Kiwi Pete you get longish dry spells followed by wet spells. Here we get months of damp, not necessarily torrential weather, with humidity in the high ninetys. The ground never dries out. Officially a drought here is a fortnight without precipitation. Droughts are very rare, main bother here is getting rid of excess water, and I think @Karliboy is the same. Water has never really been a limiting factor here.
I do agree, but I have the perspective of dairying with no housing in a much higher rainfall area than where I am - we'd get 4 feet of rain during the cow's dry period and then hit the grass when it was basically floating - it was an ex-sheep farm and thus the water cycling just was pathetic.

That's where I learnt to do all the counterintuitive stuff with grazing, the same rough principles apply in areas with any rainfall amount IMO.
You just end up seeing different things as "results" in a 7 inch rainfall area to a 70 inch area.
 

Blaithin

Member
Location
Alberta, Canada
I understand what your saying there Pete in what could be a dry environment like your own, but in ours where last year was a once in a lifetime event dry spell and this year has been a relatively wet one once we got into late June I can easily end up with a lot of soil showing and nothing growing especially on 40ish day rotations like this year as it grew that quickly but the divots were still black and water logged and were then making more on the next round.
I’m thinking about getting a lightish roller (mine is full of concreate) just to smooth things out without trying to create to much compaction. Or maybe I could Harrow with old drag harrows with spikes up.
I could be just worrying to much as feeling stressed a little as can’t get stock inside until these sodding bulls off my dads bugger to market to free shed up, But things are looking shitty in places for sure.
I does have all winter to settle back down naturally I suppose.
I would have had them in 2 weeks ago and calves weaned now so if it did dry up cows could have gone back out.
Anyway whinge over 🙄
Perhaps you should look at giving it a longer rest period.

While 40 days is likely plenty for your grass to rebound and recover it obviously isn’t enough for your ground. If you apply the same principals and let it rest longer, you’ll potentially get more long fibre to trample in, which will in turn create more OM which will increase water infiltration and holding capacity.

Hillsides don’t have the depth of topsoil that flats and valleys do, we all know that. If you increase your top soil then you may not have such a saturation issue.

And before you say something like it’d be hard to extend rotation with the amount of stock and feed you have... welcome to my life!! 😂 I know my pasture would be much happier with longer rests but realistically it’s hard to only graze once a year!
 
know that feeling, we have had grass fit to cut and the land is not ready for stock
I soon learnt there was no point in us sowing fert in the early spring to grow more grass for grazing cos we may not be able to graze it
Same here, our 'average' always lies, our rain is plentiful, just crams itself into corners instead of being spread through the year.

On paper it looks like we should get 70-120 mm each month, in reality it now varies between 5 and 350mm.
So you either adapt, or moan a lot - only one of those pays.
Instead of grazing 10 times, I want to graze 5 times a year, this halves the risk and the cost
 

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World Food Day: NFU Cymru celebrates Welsh food producers at the Senedd

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Written by Rachel Martin

NFU Cymru members and Assembly Members have been celebrating the role that Welsh farmers play in producing nutritious, high quality, safe affordable food during an event at the Senedd today on World Food Day (October 16).

The lunchtime event, which was sponsored by Llyr Gruffydd AM, included a special menu of fine Welsh produce.

Speaking at the event, NFU Cymru...
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