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

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
One thing to bear in mind is that before mechanisation, all the workhorses would have needed fed off the land as well. A Clydesdale working hard will put away some amount of oats and hay!
but was not bought in, as diesel is, i know many things have changed, just really wondering how much those 'old' pastures actually produced, we have all gone down the ryegrass route, and for years it's been mainly rg and clover, those old pastures were classed as 'rubbish' and reseeded. But the principles of grazing haven't, basically get as much as possible from it, and we have thrown away all those 'rubbish' plants, for a type that responds well to N, the future of 'bag' fert, looks to be curtailed, so, as we see, a lot of those old grasses are being 'upgraded', i can remember some of the old boys, calling an old pasture 'good herbage' and the response was 'bad weedage'. And now, in the 21st century we are using herbal leys (weedage), and experimenting with all sorts of grass mixtures, which are basically recreating those old mixed pastures, albeit with some new technology to help. The more i look at our farm, it seems apparent that the most important bit we have forgotten, is basic good husbandry, look after your farm, and it might look after you. Many new varieties of arable and grass, need weed killers, fungicides, insecticides to produce a crop, and resistance is becoming a huge problem, cousin has dropped rape out, he simply cannot get it to yield, slugs and beetles have finished it off. A favourite saying of said cousin, is the wheel always turns a full circle, and the way farming is looked at today, those 'old' ways, may teach us a lesson or two. People seem to have forgotten that they cannot survive with out us.

I had a friend who had archaeologists at his farm and while walking a gully they were amazed at the trees & dated the gully at several hundred years old and wondered what the gully was used for.....friend said " you do realise there use to be a railway line through here and it closed over 40yrs ago" :LOL: :D
they stayed here for a good 6 months, split between 2 summers, it was a fantastic thing, to be shown, how our farm had evolved over 3500 years, they could show you neolithic, bronze age, iron age, roman, right up to modern. I do know the worst thing they did, we had literally just finished laying a block of concrete, they drove straight through it, waving at us, they did apologise profusely, and dropped some beer in.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
but was not bought in, as diesel is, i know many things have changed, just really wondering how much those 'old' pastures actually produced, we have all gone down the ryegrass route, and for years it's been mainly rg and clover, those old pastures were classed as 'rubbish' and reseeded. But the principles of grazing haven't, basically get as much as possible from it, and we have thrown away all those 'rubbish' plants, for a type that responds well to N, the future of 'bag' fert, looks to be curtailed, so, as we see, a lot of those old grasses are being 'upgraded', i can remember some of the old boys, calling an old pasture 'good herbage' and the response was 'bad weedage'. And now, in the 21st century we are using herbal leys (weedage), and experimenting with all sorts of grass mixtures, which are basically recreating those old mixed pastures, albeit with some new technology to help. The more i look at our farm, it seems apparent that the most important bit we have forgotten, is basic good husbandry, look after your farm, and it might look after you. Many new varieties of arable and grass, need weed killers, fungicides, insecticides to produce a crop, and resistance is becoming a huge problem, cousin has dropped rape out, he simply cannot get it to yield, slugs and beetles have finished it off. A favourite saying of said cousin, is the wheel always turns a full circle, and the way farming is looked at today, those 'old' ways, may teach us a lesson or two. People seem to have forgotten that they cannot survive with out us.


they stayed here for a good 6 months, split between 2 summers, it was a fantastic thing, to be shown, how our farm had evolved over 3500 years, they could show you neolithic, bronze age, iron age, roman, right up to modern. I do know the worst thing they did, we had literally just finished laying a block of concrete, they drove straight through it, waving at us, they did apologise profusely, and dropped some beer in.
Weedage (y) I like that, might have to start calling myself a weedage farmer. :ROFLMAO:
 

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
@Samcowman only thing wirth concidering is shade in the tripple setup (wwhich is also what i would suggest) so maybe just an old haywagon or such that you could deploy if it got real hot/wet/windy.
Ill keep it in mind. There will only be one paddock which won’t have shade along the one side (middle of the middle alley). If it was going to be really hot when they were due to be in there I could probably just give them a 12 hour shift in there over night before moving them up to the top paddock with shade then back to that one the next night. Or something along those lines or even just skip it out for some free reseeding.
By that time I am thinking my rotation will be longer than the initial planned 25 days but will be flexible depending on how the season goes
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thanks Pete. 3 alley looks doable.
Positives shorter cross fences, virtually square paddocks on first round and easier fencing in busy times. Couple of negatives more semi permanent but not a big deal and mobile water line I would think run the middle of the middle alley rather than fenceline.
Need to start marking out fences next couple of weeks so will have a play
I like 3's, most of the fields here I split into 3 as it just makes the paddocks so much more square and gives you flexibility to hop the mob sideways or draft some out. (Not that it's "needed", but it can be nice to have)
between all the posts on here, there is definitely a consensus that say's grazing management is a critical part of 'regenerative' systems, if we take that one step further, (or several), by how much, can ren farming affect our bottom line, profit. That for all off us, is the important result. Given that we are improving our soils, hopefully saving money on sprays/seeds/fert, by how much, can our improved soil, treated carefully, increase the stocking density of our farms, i am absolutely sure, that statement can be substantiated, from our own little experiments here, especially with the tight grazing, long rest, we have found that not only can you increase the stocking capacity, you can improve the quality of the grasses in it, so, win win. I think a quote from greg judy, in that we adapt our farms, to allow for a system we are told/advised/want to do, and we really have to change our mind set, a very hard thing to do sometimes. It seems entirely stupid, to be told, by stocking grass less, you can achieve more output. Pretty well up the to the invention of refrigerated ships, most of the meat eaten here was home produced, that and the mass importation of cheap grain, were the two main drivers pushing home produced downwards. Up till then, farming must have managed the land, in a way, that ensured it would continue producing the 'goods', you only have to look at some of the massive stone barns etc, to know there was money to spare. Quite a long thought train this, but what i am trying to think through, is those pastures must have produced the grass, to supply the meat, just as rotation allowed the cereal grown. Although we live, and farm, in very different times, and very different ways, without all the sprays, fert etc, and allowing for 40% of our food imported, how much less did those pastures actually produce, if any.
Possibly no less, if you look at the crude measure of 'starch equivalent' per acre per year then permanent pasture is on top of cereals or leys. It requires management,, and, well management requires people on the land.

not ballsups followed by a pass with a machine to correct, but actual observation + action
There is a long list of why actions aren't taken and a large number of tapemeasure type tools to replace observation... again, what do we really want??
 

onesiedale

Member
Location
Derbyshire
I had a friend who had archaeologists at his farm and while walking a gully they were amazed at the trees & dated the gully at several hundred years old and wondered what the gully was used for.....friend said " you do realise there use to be a railway line through here and it closed over 40yrs ago" :LOL: :D
Similar here a few years ago, aerial photos had shown up several round house sites in one particular field. Couple of weeks of getting over excited and I just let them into the secret of round bale ring feeders from a few years back🤣
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Here's an interesting diagram to ponderView attachment 934645
This is obviously without a lot of loading eg concrete/steel manufacture.
you have forgotten the belching cows in, you know the ones the owners of the above factories, have successfully trained the public to think are the problem.
The 'food' train has become extended, due to the global trade, everybody 'knows' about air miles, but no one is prepared to do anything about it, NZ lamb for instance ! The other side of the coin, global trade makes countries more reliant on each other, thus theoretically reducing the risk of conflict. But however you look at it, it's pretty ridiculous the way things travel, although much more helpful than people jetting off, all over the world on holidays.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
you have forgotten the belching cows in, you know the ones the owners of the above factories, have successfully trained the public to think are the problem.
The 'food' train has become extended, due to the global trade, everybody 'knows' about air miles, but no one is prepared to do anything about it, NZ lamb for instance ! The other side of the coin, global trade makes countries more reliant on each other, thus theoretically reducing the risk of conflict. But however you look at it, it's pretty ridiculous the way things travel, although much more helpful than people jetting off, all over the world on holidays.
Actually NZ pasture grown meat shipped slowly can be less impactful than high grain intensive home produced meat.

The real madness is flying veg to Africa to be cheaply trimmed and packed before flying it back for sale, a common occurrence. They justify it as using spare hold space on passenger flights but it still raises fuel burn, denies passengers luggage allowance and relies on excessive tourist flight which we have to discourage in future.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ill keep it in mind. There will only be one paddock which won’t have shade along the one side (middle of the middle alley). If it was going to be really hot when they were due to be in there I could probably just give them a 12 hour shift in there over night before moving them up to the top paddock with shade then back to that one the next night. Or something along those lines or even just skip it out for some free reseeding.
By that time I am thinking my rotation will be longer than the initial planned 25 days but will be flexible depending on how the season goes
Good way to do it. If most of the infrastrucure is already there then it's SO much easier to tweak things on the day to suit the day .

I've been playing again, have 70 acres half-subdivided (.2ha cells) roughly how we want it,,, on paper.
Screenshot_20210118-224058_Fields Area Measure PRO.jpg

Sheep are probably going away sometime next week, so that will be a bit of a lighter load and I can get some fences dismantled, corner/strainer posts driven in and get keylines ripped once we can see where we're going. All a little frantic at the moment
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
Actually NZ pasture grown meat shipped slowly can be less impactful than high grain intensive home produced meat.

The real madness is flying veg to Africa to be cheaply trimmed and packed before flying it back for sale, a common occurrence. They justify it as using spare hold space on passenger flights but it still raises fuel burn, denies passengers luggage allowance and relies on excessive tourist flight which we have to discourage in future.
I was wondering how NZ lamb contributed to air miles! 😉
 
Actually NZ pasture grown meat shipped slowly can be less impactful than high grain intensive home produced meat.

The real madness is flying veg to Africa to be cheaply trimmed and packed before flying it back for sale, a common occurrence. They justify it as using spare hold space on passenger flights but it still raises fuel burn, denies passengers luggage allowance and relies on excessive tourist flight which we have to discourage in future.
Yes, some of the supply chains seem absolutely mad. Supermarkets bringing European produce over to GB distribution centres, then back over to the continent. Or 'Welsh beef' killed in England, boned and packed in NI before shipping back to Wales :rolleyes:
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
I was wondering how NZ lamb contributed to air miles! 😉
sly dig at you !
but if you totalled up the air miles used by holidaymakers, and the needless travel of food, as in scottish fish to thailand to be processed, and flown back for sale etc, suspect it would seriously reduce carbon production, but, of course, that wouldn't be a popular move, the public are moaning well at delayed/cancelled holidays now, with a real and present danger, so we can see, how easy it was to convince the public, that it was belching cows, (and including nz sheep), were the cause, not them. With the present concerns over climate change, i wonder when, or if, guvs start to reduce, or even tax, the unnecessary air travel, but it would be so unpopular with voters, it will be the 'if' not the 'when'.
Going back to NZ lamb, which is shipped, not flown, there were some really interesting articles published a few years ago, about how you could put automatic sails on ships, reducing fuel requirements substantially, but that idea has probably bitten the dust. Pity because it looked sensible.
 

fat_teddys_mob

Member
Mixed Farmer
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