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

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
I don't understand why it's so expensive in this country. I saw it advertised on their NZ Facebook page that it was only $200/year so about £100. Here we were quoted £600/year if we wanted to pay for it. Lucky I was given a free trial for a year through our grazing group and I still have never been charged any money but can still access it 🤷‍♂️ wouldn't have paid for it that's for sure.
If it was £100 half arsing it wouldn't matter so much but because it was going to be so expensive I thought I'd better do it properly and use the free trial to learn how to do it. If it was only £100 then I'd likely still use it but not for £600.
But if you were running a grazing system with flexible stock numbers and could trade them easily to fit in with grass supply and demand I could see it being very good value. £600 is only 2.5tonnes of cake and that wouldn't feed very many stock for very long at all. It is very good for that but don't feel like it's for me.
Well impressed you got your head round setting up Farmax, amazingly powerful bit of software but too complicated for me to drive. Any opportunities using what you learned to help setup for others?

Had a play with Agrinet for a few months, nice & simple for grass wedge etc but no sheep option at the time, may have been updated now.
 

Karliboy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Yorkshire
Just get an 18 tonne Fendt and put it on wide tyres, not only will it use no fuel but create no compaction, so I'm told
It’s funny you mention fuel in new tractors.
a good mate had a neighbour around and a dual spreader with his big old jd 7600 I think it is to spread some dung. Did 3 steady days about 20hours on and off only used 120 litres he couldn’t believe how little it was as he is that used to pouring diesel into these new modern machines. he reconed his 6630 would be double that.
I can’t believe how much that little new CASE I have drinks compared to my little universal for 30hp more for work done over the day
It’s ridiculous greedy really,
One holds 55 litres and the other 160. It’s a lot off extra fuel burnt for a bit more top speed and comfort.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
It’s funny you mention fuel in new tractors.
a good mate had a neighbour around and a dual spreader with his big old jd 7600 I think it is to spread some dung. Did 3 steady days about 20hours on and off only used 120 litres he couldn’t believe how little it was as he is that used to pouring diesel into these new modern machines. he reconed his 6630 would be double that.
I can’t believe how much that little new CASE I have drinks compared to my little universal for 30hp more for work done over the day
It’s ridiculous greedy really,
One holds 55 litres and the other 160. It’s a lot off extra fuel burnt for a bit more top speed and comfort.
That's why I run what I run - it helps me not use much juice.
Firstly, because I've done my time in tractors, I am still skilled but just don't have the urge anymore
Secondly, because it suits my little yard and little implements
Thirdly, it just won't drink much, those old aircooled Same tractors weren't designed in a country will oilwells and it shows.
Having eco PTO is pretty good, it runs a mower or rotaspreader just fine at 1700rpms and hardly uses fuel. Just wish they would bring out a new old one as I would be the first in line
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
On calf breakfast duty today, Sarah is helping the neighbour tail some lambs, they were rained off yesterday. They still come to the feeder but are all drinking off the cows as well.
20201018_092713.jpg

Let everyone out of confinement for a runaround, and so I could slip Lexi and Lou in with them
20201018_095536.jpg
20201008_191451.jpg

@Greg101 this was what I was meaning by calving early to keep cow size down, the biggest of our cows will be a touch under 500kg @3 years.
Left to grow they'd be 600+ and so one effectively "eats for free", and it's 4 extra teats.
 

Karliboy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Yorkshire
I’ve lost the urge with tractors too for sure. ended up buck raking some maize for a few hours yesterday on a 416 jcb for the same mate. Bored me to tears even thought I’d never driven a shovel that big.
Between that and sorting a young tractor jokey out that went down the wrong lane as he didn’t listen let alone stop and think and got wedged huge Ktwo silage trailers and 8ft wide roads don’t mix believe it or not. No photos unfortunately but would have be a good one for the what I’ve fudgeed up today thread😂
E5E79686-9C59-4AD2-A290-C0F6A8024C36.jpeg
1E4A2B40-80AB-44F0-AEA9-5661800BB6B4.png
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I’ve lost the urge with tractors too for sure. ended up buck raking some maize for a few hours yesterday on a 416 jcb for the same mate. Bored me to tears even thought I’d never driven a shovel that big.
Between that and sorting a young tractor jokey out that went down the wrong lane as he didn’t listen let alone stop and think and got wedged huge Ktwo silage trailers and 8ft wide roads don’t mix believe it or not. No photos unfortunately but would have be a good one for the what I’ve fudgeed up today thread😂 View attachment 914825View attachment 914826
I started out muckspreading, quite excited, never done it before.
10 loads in and I was bored half to tears, luckily the radio goes good! I have done 40 loads now, will do some more this afternoon when I only have one lad.
 

Karliboy

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
West Yorkshire
I started out muckspreading, quite excited, never done it before.
10 loads in and I was bored half to tears, luckily the radio goes good! I have done 40 loads now, will do some more this afternoon when I only have one lad.
Your pulling my leg you never been muck spreading before.
It is about the only job on a tractor I half enjoy as I feel I’m doing something kind of right by going out spreading dung to feed the grass and soil etc.
That and the risk factor on my hill makes it a little more interesting 🙈
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Your pulling my leg you never been muck spreading before.
It is about the only job on a tractor I half enjoy as I feel I’m doing something kind of right by going out spreading dung to feed the grass and soil etc.
That and the risk factor on my hill makes it a little more interesting 🙈
I feel now like I've done all the muckspreading I ever wanted to do 🤣

It's pretty rare with our pastoral/grazing type farm systems, stock that spend their whole life outside don't sh!t much inside!
So I suppose our equivalent is topping.
I get pretty peed off with that too, now I've made a drought with a mower, effectively it doesn't achieve very much except make your sheep limp and your cows hungry
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
I wonder what % of the worms will survive after going through the spreader as that pile was full of them on your pictures either in here or fb to the point I’m surprised it didn't walk it’s self off down the feild.
I don't think the tigerworms will survive life in the paddocks too well anyway, with the conditions we have in our soil at present.
(From what I've read about the different earthworm types anyway) I assume that they will die and be cycled, I even had gulls landing in the spreader while I was chugging down the lane with it.
20201017_151330.jpg


We don't really see tigers when we dig, just the regular pink "earth" worms and some grey "tussock worms" about the size of a new pencil

Funny what you say about "walking down the field" because at certain times you notice a big ring around the muckheap as some leave the heap to reproduce, I would eventually like to have compost piles dotted all around the place
 
Last edited:

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
been a time since last read this thread, as previously said, we have had x3 shite summers, and have been looking at ways, to work around them, this is some of what we have achieved/tried. Focusing on soil structure, thinking a good structure, will be more fertile, and retain more water, very little has been ploughed, just tine worked, or direct drilled, if we are satisfied no panning is present, plenty of slurry gone on, the tines seem to cope with incorporating the slurry very well, a very shallow pass, with the p/h, to level out, drill/roll, This appears to have worked, we are seeing mole hills, (to many) and mushrooms (not many) again, which has got to be good, one field, haven't seen mushrooms there, for 40 yrs. Grazing wise, we are not big enough to have a 'long' rotation, but we have, through paddock/strip/back fencing, been a very much 24/36 hrs on/off system. Deliberately left 2 fields, on the 'old' system, 2/3 days field, the difference, was very obvious. Although very short of grass, we have succeeded, in leaving longer residuals, and, longer rotation. The result, not sure, but, once it did rain, mid sept, everything went mental, turning a desperate fodder shortage, into an 'ok' winter. For the last 4/5 years, we have cut 17 acres of pp, next door, on a 1 cut, nothing more done, from one year to the next, we cut end may, fair crop, weed population appeared much less, and we were asked to cut it again, to tidy up, for a sale, very respectable crop, and, as in the 1st cut, less weed. Is this, the natural grasses, taking back 'control, and out competing the weeds, or something else ? We expected to lose the keep, as building were sold, but we now have it, free, as long as we keep it 'tidy', the owner relocating to devon, holding the land, as a long term investment.
This autumn, we have been reseeding/overseeding, with plantain, chicory, vetch, cocksfoot, timothy, fesques and clover, with rye grass, trying different mixes, so far, plantains, have gone 'mental', way ahead of the rest. The drought resistant leys, sown last spring, very slow to get going, but have kept going ! I have found it very interesting, hard at times, to do the 'opposite' of normal. But we have seen results, and looking forward to next year, for more (better) results.
For anybody thinking about changing systems, to this way, i would advise, look at organic systems, the more regenative ways, and pick the bits, from both, that you think will work for your farm, and never be frightened to experiment.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
been a time since last read this thread, as previously said, we have had x3 shite summers, and have been looking at ways, to work around them, this is some of what we have achieved/tried. Focusing on soil structure, thinking a good structure, will be more fertile, and retain more water, very little has been ploughed, just tine worked, or direct drilled, if we are satisfied no panning is present, plenty of slurry gone on, the tines seem to cope with incorporating the slurry very well, a very shallow pass, with the p/h, to level out, drill/roll, This appears to have worked, we are seeing mole hills, (to many) and mushrooms (not many) again, which has got to be good, one field, haven't seen mushrooms there, for 40 yrs. Grazing wise, we are not big enough to have a 'long' rotation, but we have, through paddock/strip/back fencing, been a very much 24/36 hrs on/off system. Deliberately left 2 fields, on the 'old' system, 2/3 days field, the difference, was very obvious. Although very short of grass, we have succeeded, in leaving longer residuals, and, longer rotation. The result, not sure, but, once it did rain, mid sept, everything went mental, turning a desperate fodder shortage, into an 'ok' winter. For the last 4/5 years, we have cut 17 acres of pp, next door, on a 1 cut, nothing more done, from one year to the next, we cut end may, fair crop, weed population appeared much less, and we were asked to cut it again, to tidy up, for a sale, very respectable crop, and, as in the 1st cut, less weed. Is this, the natural grasses, taking back 'control, and out competing the weeds, or something else ? We expected to lose the keep, as building were sold, but we now have it, free, as long as we keep it 'tidy', the owner relocating to devon, holding the land, as a long term investment.
This autumn, we have been reseeding/overseeding, with plantain, chicory, vetch, cocksfoot, timothy, fesques and clover, with rye grass, trying different mixes, so far, plantains, have gone 'mental', way ahead of the rest. The drought resistant leys, sown last spring, very slow to get going, but have kept going ! I have found it very interesting, hard at times, to do the 'opposite' of normal. But we have seen results, and looking forward to next year, for more (better) results.
For anybody thinking about changing systems, to this way, i would advise, look at organic systems, the more regenative ways, and pick the bits, from both, that you think will work for your farm, and never be frightened to experiment.
Experimenting is the fun bit, if you can create the necessary slack to have "safe to fail" experiments.

You don't know the effects of changing things, pushing limits at times, until after the fact. A good memory is useful!

For example, we're always told that "poaching the soil is bad" but it can be good.. if managed.
20201018_172854.jpg
There's a strip parallel to this fence where I made my stock a lane..about 6 metres across, and you can still see it in the extra grass growth, about 3 years after they ploughed it with their feet.

Now that I have some portable troughs I don't make lanes to the water anymore, but I would never have been comfortable "intentionally impacting the soil" if I hadn't had a play around and looked at the result.
 

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