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

Poorbuthappy

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Let’s Waste Grass With Jim Gerrish – Part 1
By Kathy Voth / April 9, 2018 / 9 Comments

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This piece is drawn from a presentation Jim Gerrish did in 2015 sponsored by the Iowa Beef Center. We’ve embedded the 15:20 video of the presentation where Jim talks about the benefits of “wasting grass.” We’re also summarizing it in two bite size articles to make it easier for all you farmers and ranchers on the go and those of you with slow internet connections.

Research Jim Gerrish has done, along with his years of experience, shows that when we graze grass down to about 2 inches, it takes significantly longer for that grass to recover than it would have if we’d moved the cows out when the grass was still 4 to 6 inches tall. What he’s looking for is what he calls “Phase 2” residual – grass that has been grazed to between 4 and 6 to 8 inches.

When grass is grazed like what you see in this picture, it takes about 40 days to grow one ton per acre.
Wasting Grass Builds Better Pastures

Making the decision to “waste grass” can be difficult, as Jim describes in this scenario:
“We’ve gone out to the pasture. We went out thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to move the cows today.’ But you look at this and you see all this green grass left behind, and you’ve got the question. Do I leave them there and not waste grass? Or do I move them?”

“Ten years ago, everybody would have said, ‘That’s wasting grass.’ And they’d want to stay there and use it because in this country we have a great fear of wasting grass,” says Jim. But if we want to take the step toward better soils, and more productive pastures and livestock, Jim says we need to understand these three things:

“If your approach to feeding livestock is “Gotta feed the cows! Gotta feed the cows!” you just used the grass up feeding cows,” Jim says. “If you leave grass behind, you leave the soil protected, it’s cooler, water’s not evaporating out of it, the plants have a chance to grow back, you can build Organic Matter. As you build Organic matter in the soil, you build infiltration capacity, water storage capacity and you can weather the drought far better than the person who has grazed it short.”
He continues, “If you leave grass behind, you leave the soil protected. It’s cooler, water’s not evaporating out of it. The plants have a chance to grow back. You can build Organic Matter….As you build organic matter in the soil, you build infiltration capacity, water storage capacity, and you can weather the drought far better than the person who has grazed it short.”
Wasting Grass Increases Productivity

If you graze your grass down to 1-3 inches, so it looks like the picture below, there will be a lot less leaf area, and more sunshine will be hitting the ground. Grazed to this degree, it will take about 64 days of recovery to grown one ton of forage.

If you have a 200 day growing season and it takes you 64 days to grow 1 ton, you can grow 3 tons of feed. But, says Jim, “If you can grow a ton of feed in 40 days because you’ve left a better solar panel, you’ll return 5 cycles and grow 5 tons of feed. That’s a 60% increase in production from making the decision to leave more grass out there. We would waste grass and we got 60% more.”

Wasting Grass Increases Profitability
If you need to increase forage, so you can increase the amount of money you make by selling beef, you could buy more land – at the going rate of $2,000 to $4,000 an acre – and graze the way you are now. Or you could change the way you graze. Yes, you’ll have to invest in stock water development, some fencing to do that, and you’ll have to move cattle on a regular basis, but Jim compares the cost of that to the cost of purchasing land.
“What’s a reasonable dollar amount for taking 800 acres and putting good quality water and subdivision fences? $100 to $150 an acre. At $200 an acre that’s less than 10% of buying an acre of land. You can increase productivity by 60% – even double it in some cases. That’s what investing in the infrastructure to more effectively manage your own land can do. You don’t have to go out and pay $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 to get another acre of pasture. You can create another acre of pasture on your own place just by managing it!”
For the next “bite” in this series, click here. Jim will talk about two principles you must follow to make this work, and he’ll show you what the proper heights are for grazing different kinds of grasses.
Kudos to the Iowa Beef Center for doing a great job of sharing videos on its Youtube channel. You can learn even more by visiting their website.


Looks like that's basically taken from the video I keep posting😊
 

onesiedale

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Redesigning Economics based on Ecology

Daniel Christian Wahl
Daniel Christian Wahl

Mar 4, 2017 · 10 min read
“To make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” — R. Buckminster Fuller
Much of our day-to-day behaviour and cultural activity is structurally determined by our monetary and economic systems. Their redesign is a crucial enabler of the transition towards a regenerative culture. To transform our economic system(s) at every scale is an audacious salutogenic [health generating] design intervention, yet it is the only way we can effect changes deeply enough to avoid the collapse of civilization and further damage to ecosystems and the biosphere.
Q: Is it possible to create a regenerative economic system based on cooperation rather than competition?
Q How can lessons from ecology — like symbiosis, circular no-waste systems and whole-systems optimization — inform the redesign of our economic and monetary systems?

In line with Buckminster Fuller’s central design intention, we have to ask ourselves: does our current economic and monetary system work for 100% of humanity without ecological offence and disadvantage to anyone? Clearly it does not! We need new economic rules and fundamental structural changes that incentivize regenerative and collaborative relationships. The redesigned system will need to discourage the kind of pathological behaviour patterns our current culturally dominant narrative of separation, supported by neo-Darwinian biology and neo-classical economics, justifies and rewards.


John Fullerton and team at the Capital Institute have started an exploration into what Regenerative Capitalism or a regenerative economy might look like.
As human beings, we are in our very nature compassionate and collaborative, but our current monetary and economic systems are based on the narrative of separation that creates and encourages competition. For too long, we have told a story about nature ‘red in tooth and claw’ and excused the worst of human behaviour as natural. Scarcity is primarily a mindset and lack of collaboration not a biophysical reality! Competition creates scarcity, which in turn is used to justify competitive behaviour (a vicious circle).
The natural limits of bioproductivity and healthy ecosystems functions don’t create scarcity as such. Collaboration can turn these natural planetary limits into enabling constraints to create abundance for all within healthy ecosystems and a healthy biosphere. Collaboration creates shared abundance, which in turn invites more collaboration (a virtuous circle). We choose which world we want to bring forth together!

Hazle Henderson offered a useful Mapping of the Global Transition to the Solar Age
Our economic systems have to be redesigned to enable rather than inhibit vital changes towards improved whole-systems health. The healthier the whole system is, the more abundance is generated by healthy ecosystems functions. Our current monetary system generates money out of nowhere based on debt (every time anyone takes out a loan). Differential interest for lending and borrowing, along with compound interest, further drive a system that is not only set up as a win-lose game, but also requires continuous economic growth to keep going.
Furthermore, this system depends on continuous extraction of natural resources, turning them into (privatized) economic assets while externalizing the ecological and social costs. This is a structurally unsustainable system.
Rather than creating a medium of exchange and a store of value that incentivizes appropriate participation in the life-sustaining processes of the biosphere, we have created a monetary and economic system that drives the systematic exploitation and destruction of healthy ecosystem functioning. In addition, this badly designed system makes us compete rather than collaborate with one another. Our profoundly unsustainable monetary and economic systems lie at the root of many of the converging crises around us. They reinforce a self-fulfilling prophecy of competition and scarcity. A regenerative culture will only emerge if we address these necessary and fundamental structural changes.

Here is a link to David Korton’s article on The Great Turing from Empire to Community
On his website Peak Prosperity, Chris Martenson, a former Fortune 300 executive, provides an excellent crash course using a series of short video presentations exploring the interconnected forces of our structurally dysfunctional economic system. The economic growth phase of the global economy is nearing its systemic (structural) end. I recommend this resource to everyone willing to invest four hours in gaining a better understanding of why economic and cultural transformation is inevitable and urgently needed. Like an ecosystem reaching maturity, our economic systems need to shift from quantitative towards qualitative growth by revitalizing local and regional economies through the prosperity that comes from collaboration and community resilience.
The word ‘regenerative’ in ‘regenerative cultures’ refers — in part — to a culture’s ability to regenerate and transform itself in response to change. Most importantly it refers to a culture’s ability to maintain and regenerate healthy ecosystems functions as the basis of true wealth and wellbeing. If we finally understand that our current monetary and economic systems are not fit for purpose, we can initiate structural changes that will create conditions for life as a whole, including all of humanity, to thrive.
The founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, said in the run-up to the 2012 forum that “capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us […] a global transformation is urgently needed” (Economic Times, 2012). In Chapter 5 we explored how design keeps on designing, how there is a self-reinforcing feedback between our worldview and designs that reinforces the way we see the world. We need to break out of this vicious circle of bad economic design decisions — they reinforce a perspective of scarcity, separation and competition that drives ecological and social degradation. Human beings designed this system and human beings can redesign it to serve people and planet.
Nothing about our current economic system is inevitable or unchangeable. Remember, economics is at best a ‘management system’ and at its worst a dangerous ideology. Unlike biology and ecology, economics is not a science. We created our current economic system and we can redesign it, based on ecological insights, to better serve our common purpose: promoting the health and wellbeing of humanity and the community of life.

Wendell Berry’s 17 Rules for Sustainable Community
To redesign economics from the ground up challenges us to design new monetary systems, trade policies and financial institutions, as well as scale-linked local living economies and regionally based circular bio-economies supported by global collaboration and resource- and information-sharing.
The structural failure of the current system is no longer a provocative hypothesis of a few thought-leaders. The World Bank, the United Nations, the world’s financial institutions, many political leaders and most importantly a groundswell of increasingly informed global citizens, have all recognized the dysfunctionality of the current economic and monetary system.
We are challenged to redesign the plane we are on in mid-flight. The necessity of ‘Horizon 1’ — to keep the lights on and people fed and in jobs — is driving many people in leadership roles to react to short-term electoral and economic cycles with little room to manoeuvre, rather than to initiate transformative change with the long-term benefit of humanity and life in mind. This structural lock-in drives ‘business as usual’.
Here are just some of the key faults in the current monetary and economic system:
  • ‘money as debt created out of nowhere’ drives extreme inequality and sets ‘competition’ as the rule
  • compound interest on loans and deposits creates an economic time-bomb that drives the perverse necessity for exponential growth and unbridled consumption, structurally establishing a win-lose rather than a win-win-win ‘playing field’
  • inappropriate and misguided measures of economic success like GDP divert our attention from creating systemic health and wellbeing (caring about qualities) to economic throughput (caring about quantities)
  • anachronistic subsidies and international trade policies established under the economic stranglehold of big lobbies favour the wrong kind of industries and energy sources
  • current trade rules favour financial gains for the shareholders of multinational corporations yet sabotage local and regional production and consumption (to the detriment of most of humanity’s 5 billion poor and of ecosystems functions)
  • tax systems that are set up to tax work rather than resource-use structurally increase inequity and drive environmental and social degradation
  • value creation is based on an exploitative system of extraction, production and consumption that externalizes the social and ecological costs of (and damage caused by) degrading our resource base and causing dangerous climate change
  • the flow of investments and subsidies is not supporting salutogenic and regenerative activities and technologies, as would be the case if value creation was based on healthy ecosystems functions and regeneration
Economic and monetary systems as they stand are structurally dysfunctional and at best serve a few (for a while). Under no circumstances will they deliver a healthy, meaningful and happy life for all. On a crowded planet with failing ecosystems we have to learn that out-competing others while destroying the planetary life-support systems is not an evolutionary success strategy. Win-lose games in the long run turn into lose-lose games.

Here is and interview with Michel Bauwnes on the role of P2P-Economic in reshaping our world.
Starting with the systemic leverage points mentioned above, we can transform our global economy and strengthen resilient regional and local economies as the foundations of thriving, diverse, regenerative cultures. If we want to create healthy economies that protect rather than destroy local ecosystems, we will need to rewrite international trade rules in ways that include the social and ecological costs of production and consumption, as well as trade.
We need to protect local economies from ‘cheap’ imports made possible by hidden subsidies, externalizing true costs, and outsourcing production (exploiting international inequality). Re-localizing and re-regionalizing economics — while maintaining international collaboration and fair trade — creates jobs and community resilience. It supports an economics of positive social and ecological impact.
Neo-classical economic dogma would call this ‘protectionism’ and oppose it because ‘we need deregulation instead of regulation to ensure the free-market’. What a pervasive myth this so-called free-market is proving to be! In a conditioned knee-jerk response, many intelligent people will defend an ideal (the free market) that simply does not exist. Kenny Ausubel, co-founder of Bioneers, hit the nail on the head:
“The world is suffering from the perverse incentives of ‘unnatural capitalism’. When people say ‘free market’, I ask if free is a verb. We don’t have a free market, but a highly managed and often monopolized market. […] we have banks and companies that are ‘too big to fail,’ but in truth are too big not to fail. The resulting extremes of concentration of wealth and political power are very bad for business and the economy (not to mention the environment, human rights, and democracy). One result is that small companies can’t advance too far against the big players with their legions of lawyers and Capitol Hill lobbyists, when in truth it’s small and medium-sized companies that provide the majority of jobs as well as innovation.” Kenny Ausubel in Harman (2013: 77)
The transformation of our economic system is already under way. Social, cultural, ecological and economic innovators around the world are already offering and exploring a plethora of alternatives. Our socio-economic systems are being reinvented from the ground up.
In Money and Sustainability — The Missing Link, Bernard Lietaer and his colleagues (2012) explore a variety of ways in which complementary regional currencies can be designed to address the problems created by our current monetary system. We have already started to ask different questions about the purpose and objectives of economics and money:
Q How can we reinvent our economic system to cure its current structural dysfunctionality and create an economy that is in service of all people and the planet?
Q What kind of monetary systems would serve us at what scale?
Q Can we design a full-reserve currency based on bioproductive capacity, biodiversity and the healthy functioning of ecosystems?
Q What would circular bio-economies look like and how do we effectively create them, and at what scale?
Q What kind of economic system would help us to optimize resource sharing and (biologically regenerative) resource creation locally, regionally and globally?
Q What would an ‘economy for the common good’, an ‘economics of happiness’ and a ‘sacred economics’ look like in our community and how do we co-create them?
Q How can new rules in economics facilitate a fair sharing of, and a common responsibility for, the global commons?
Q How do we create monetary and economic systems where value is ultimately based on healthy ecosystem functioning and where ecological and social regeneration are structurally incentivized?
Q How can ecological literacy and learning from the rest of nature help us to redesign a more fitting economic system for a regenerative culture?

I cannot do these important questions justice here. But I will highlight some of the excellent work of people who — to my mind — hold a piece of the puzzle. All these approaches are based on the important ecological insight that regenerative systems in nature are collaborative. Effective resource-sharing in natural systems is based on collaboration in circular patterns of resource use and regeneration.
Creating a healthy economic system requires us to meet humanity’s needs within the limits of the planet’s annual bioproductivity and to do so while attempting to regenerate the bioproductive capacity of damaged ecosystems everywhere. Willem Ferwerda, Executive Fellow at the Rotterdam School of Management and special advisor to the IUCN, explains why the restoration of damaged ecosystems is an economic imperative:
“Ecosystems form the basis of all wealth creation. Ecosystem services flow from natural capital and are an investor’s primary asset. […] Ecosystems provide societies with soil fertility, food, water, shelter, goods and services, medicines, stability, pleasure, knowledge and leisure. […] Today 60 per cent of the services provided by ecosystems are threatened. Economic activities aimed at achieving short-term wealth are destroying ecosystems worldwide and thus economies’ primary asset. Restoring damaged ecosystems is essential if we are to secure the livelihoods of future generations.” — Willem Ferwerda (2012: 13)
[… the book continues with a chapter on Creating Circulare Economies. This excerpt from Designing Regenerative Cultures, published by Triarchy Press in 2016, opens many more questions than it anwers. So does the rest of the book, as the way to create diverse regenerative cultures that are elegantly adapted to the bio-cultural uniqueness of the places they inhabit has to be by living the questions together. There are no silver bullet pathways to a regenenerative human impact on earth.]
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There's a lot there to take in KP. I shall just skim through it again to check I've got the drift. However if this is what a no deal Brexit would result in, then let's give it a go. :ROFLMAO:
 

onesiedale

Member
Location
Derbyshire
Interesting viewpoint I heard on radio today was a farmer who commented about "feeding the world" being our collective responsibility.
"It's all bullpoo" he said "my responsibilities lie closer to home, feeding and looking after my local community. It's not about money, it's about doing what's right"
 
But where would the investment bankers fit in? ;)(y)
Maybe they don't?
Maybe wealth and title aren't any measure of position?
Maybe every thing, every prejudice is in fact an elaborate construct?

Maybe HM of landscapes and ecology isn't "quantifiable" simply because scientists and statisticians are simply another part of the problem?

I never attempt to battle the scientists, because I am all the scientist I need, here
 
Interesting viewpoint I heard on radio today was a farmer who commented about "feeding the world" being our collective responsibility.
"It's all bullpoo" he said "my responsibilities lie closer to home, feeding and looking after my local community. It's not about money, it's about doing what's right"
Of course it is a crock of sh!t.
Anyone who believes that is seriously deluded.
 
.... unfortunately, this subset are the vast majority...

I'd suggest upwards of 25,000 TFF members are in the commodity production game?
As are we, but I can't hang my coat on it. It's a flawed model.

Being smallscale means that even $20k from leasing some bulls, and $50k from grazing income adds greatly to farm profits (in fact that 70 grand is the profits).
The rest of it can be made to look profitable but only if we discount a cost
 
Interesting viewpoint I heard on radio today was a farmer who commented about "feeding the world" being our collective responsibility.
"It's all bullpoo" he said "my responsibilities lie closer to home, feeding and looking after my local community. It's not about money, it's about doing what's right"
that sounds like a Will Harris quote.
 
It looks like fear to me, they're afraid of any change so fail to look outside for new ideas, fail to challenge themselves, and cling to any mantra of someone "the same" but in a suit.
Mistakes are just so damned expensive?
What if you spent your whole farming year and made no profit at all, isn't that a clue to do something different?

Fear is a stronger driver than sex or success, so we buy insurance (everything from filling out a BPS claim to putting on fert/worming stock is insurance) but what if that risk perception reaction is the true limiter of growth?
I've a good mate who is a "regenerative sheep farmer" yet still has very short grass and worms his sheep every 28 days; he just hasn't seen the connection yet that the two must be related, as everything is related.
I think he's scared of failure, ie not finishing all his lambs before winter is failure to him.
But is it?

I would define "management failure" by the need to compromise our biome's diversity by putting chemicals on it, not by having a few scrawny hung lambs over winter or a few thistles
 
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Poorbuthappy

Member
Location
Devon
.... unfortunately, this subset are the vast majority...

I'd suggest upwards of 25,000 TFF members are in the commodity production game?
As are we, but I can't hang my coat on it. It's a flawed model.

Being smallscale means that even $20k from leasing some bulls, and $50k from grazing income adds greatly to farm profits (in fact that 70 grand is the profits).
The rest of it can be made to look profitable but only if we discount a cost
Now Pete, you laughed at me when I was counting all the costs and questioning profitability of sheep with Boss😆

How many acres to get 50k grazing income?😯
 
Now Pete, you laughed at me when I was counting all the costs and questioning profitability of sheep with Boss😆

How many acres to get 50k grazing income?😯
About 55 acres?
"Grazing" also includes dairy B&B in our current context, so that means 1/4-1/3 of our land for half a year is growing silage.
Then we use the whole hundred acres for 1/2 a year grazing hoggets, so it's probably more like 60-65 acres all told.
That $50 is profit, not income BTW, same thing with hoggets but housing has variable costs attached.

I think it brought in $38750 but also cost about $8700 in attributable expenses, plus it cost those paddocks a year's potential by removing the bulk of the solar panel/ nutrients within
 

Poorbuthappy

Member
Location
Devon
About 55 acres?
"Grazing" also includes dairy B&B in our current context, so that means 1/4-1/3 of our land for half a year is growing silage.
Then we use the whole hundred acres for 1/2 a year grazing hoggets, so it's probably more like 60-65 acres all told.
That $50 is profit, not income BTW, same thing with hoggets but housing has variable costs attached.

I think it brought in $38750 but also cost about $8700 in attributable expenses, plus it cost those paddocks a year's potential by removing the bulk of the solar panel/ nutrients within
Do you charge per head per week for hoggets?
I cough at the £1+ quoted for Wales on here.
 
Do you charge per head per week for hoggets?
I cough at the £1+ quoted for Wales on here.
Yes, it's comparable to £1 per week in winter, and about 90p now.
It's a win-win if done well, we've put 7 sheep in the hole in 3 years and 2 were ours, the thing is we do an excellent job and they are an excellent tool; not only in terms of chipping away at the mortgage but also for extra animal impact, as most of our pasture productivity relies on "THE MOB" and not inputs

A few points, you spend the same amount of time electric fencing with one wire or 3, so we aim to get them accustomed to one ASAP and then 3x the moves are possible; have to get that migration happening or they're "just something to eat the grass" IYSWIM?
And, relationships, as mentioned above.. once you can eliminate that pesky commissioned stock agent and work on trust/honesty/communication, it gets better and better.
We've got all the hoggets we need from 2 great people, both of them know how we roll "they don't need drenched, you need to drench them" so it works great.

We get the benefit of sheep without the cost
20191203_125711.jpg
 
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Agistment is a great way to rapidly increase or decrease stock numbers as it suits
It is, after you begin doing it you can see the "odd" side of keeping a moderate headage year round, and managing their feed with machines

Each to their own, the reasons have been well and truly covered!
But other people's money and stock are great things IMVHO
 

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109: Monitor Farm takeover

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109: Monitor Farm takeover

Written by AHDB

The first episode in the Farm Excellence series of the AHDB podcast focuses on cereals & oilseeds. The Monitor Farm programme comprises a network of farmers from across the UK and Northern Ireland committed to driving innovation and best practice. They host regular meetings at their farms in which they discuss issues facing agriculture in their...
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