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

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
It's starting to get really... real.. little piles of posts dotted about the place...
20210123_195741.jpg

coils of net...
concrete water troughs will be coming out tomorrow in a few places, and another old fence coming down.

Then a roadie next weekend hopefully to pick up 100 microtroughs and tees, wire

We'll reuse most of the posts for node posts on our lanes, over the crests and through the creeks especially, just a bit more robust than having everything swinging on arrowposts but still plenty of flex in everything. A post every 20 metres is still going to give us a lot of stuff to sell off!
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
interesting piece. although i am not sure of the relevance of saying farming throughout it's life, has released 133billion tons of carbon, the same amount as 14 yrs of current production, unless i have that wrong.
Most of us, on here, fully appreciate ground cover, sometimes easier said than done. I have been niggling away at the bare earth (mud) behind our cattle on kale, looks bad, for any walkers seeing it, and the cattle on it, while they are fine, they look somewhat 'uncared for', which is exactly the reason we stopped doing it 40 yrs ago. And son is coming to the same conclusion, told me he's not growing so much next year ! The ground is in a pickle, and will have to be ploughed, alas, but by strip grazing cattle on it, with all the roots and sh1t, how much is that putting back into the soil, is it a - or a + benefit. There's 26acres of trod ground, including the was grass run back. After kale is finished, it will go into spr barley, to give us some straw, and grain to feed y/s, and some reseed. The maize is simple, maize off, sh1t on, into h/rye and, this year with vetch, followed by maize. Ground un cropped for about 2 weeks max. Kale uncovered for 5 months.
Must admit quite like the thought of being paid, to absorb carbon, but, how much paperwork, for how much cash ?
On the rape/kale job, it will be nice to reduce our reliance on it, and i think the inwintering of cattle, and taking the fym out to spread, is probably a better option than outwintering, all though the 'experts' say it's cheaper, do they take into account soil damage ? Going forward, would really prefer nearly all grass, and some under sown corn for reseeds, although a protien arable grain, would be nice to reduce soya use, but there isn't one yet, to tempt me. Talking through, and reading on here, reckon we have got the 'system' sorted, to move forward, i think we are covered for a dry summer, but not for a really growing one, it's a where do we put it all, problem, 2,000ton, in a 1,000 silage pit, might make it rather high, but welcome.
 
interesting piece. although i am not sure of the relevance of saying farming throughout it's life, has released 133billion tons of carbon, the same amount as 14 yrs of current production, unless i have that wrong.
Most of us, on here, fully appreciate ground cover, sometimes easier said than done. I have been niggling away at the bare earth (mud) behind our cattle on kale, looks bad, for any walkers seeing it, and the cattle on it, while they are fine, they look somewhat 'uncared for', which is exactly the reason we stopped doing it 40 yrs ago. And son is coming to the same conclusion, told me he's not growing so much next year ! The ground is in a pickle, and will have to be ploughed, alas, but by strip grazing cattle on it, with all the roots and sh1t, how much is that putting back into the soil, is it a - or a + benefit. There's 26acres of trod ground, including the was grass run back. After kale is finished, it will go into spr barley, to give us some straw, and grain to feed y/s, and some reseed. The maize is simple, maize off, sh1t on, into h/rye and, this year with vetch, followed by maize. Ground un cropped for about 2 weeks max. Kale uncovered for 5 months.
Must admit quite like the thought of being paid, to absorb carbon, but, how much paperwork, for how much cash ?
On the rape/kale job, it will be nice to reduce our reliance on it, and i think the inwintering of cattle, and taking the fym out to spread, is probably a better option than outwintering, all though the 'experts' say it's cheaper, do they take into account soil damage ? Going forward, would really prefer nearly all grass, and some under sown corn for reseeds, although a protien arable grain, would be nice to reduce soya use, but there isn't one yet, to tempt me. Talking through, and reading on here, reckon we have got the 'system' sorted, to move forward, i think we are covered for a dry summer, but not for a really growing one, it's a where do we put it all, problem, 2,000ton, in a 1,000 silage pit, might make it rather high, but welcome.
I did the maths on selling the sequestered carbon at around £140 an acre based on some rough sequestering figures for grazing and the current market price for carbon offsets that I saw. Problem seems to be proving what you've captured. The markets for selling the sequestered carbon are already there, we just need a robust measure of what we have stored and we can sell into it.
I'd be interested to see what other people think we could get.
I quite like the idea of using a soil test whereby you dry some soil. Weight it. Then cook it in an oven for a given time before weighing again. The proposal I saw said this gave an indication of soil carbon by what was burnt off as CO2.
I think to get it recognised by the scientific community we would have to prove the accuracy of the test, develop a authorised base of laboratories to do the work and take samples that can show traceability to each field. No doubt there would be alot of room for fiddling the results which would also need to be counteracted.
I was wondering about drafting a research proposal on this subject and starting a crowdfunding page, advertised on TFF to try and get some of this done. My thinking being that big business is researching us out of the industry to line their pockets, we should fight back and focus research in line with what we are seeing on the ground and maybe this time we can profit.

Sorry for the long post...🤐
 
interesting piece. although i am not sure of the relevance of saying farming throughout it's life, has released 133billion tons of carbon, the same amount as 14 yrs of current production, unless i have that wrong.
Most of us, on here, fully appreciate ground cover, sometimes easier said than done. I have been niggling away at the bare earth (mud) behind our cattle on kale, looks bad, for any walkers seeing it, and the cattle on it, while they are fine, they look somewhat 'uncared for', which is exactly the reason we stopped doing it 40 yrs ago. And son is coming to the same conclusion, told me he's not growing so much next year ! The ground is in a pickle, and will have to be ploughed, alas, but by strip grazing cattle on it, with all the roots and sh1t, how much is that putting back into the soil, is it a - or a + benefit. There's 26acres of trod ground, including the was grass run back. After kale is finished, it will go into spr barley, to give us some straw, and grain to feed y/s, and some reseed. The maize is simple, maize off, sh1t on, into h/rye and, this year with vetch, followed by maize. Ground un cropped for about 2 weeks max. Kale uncovered for 5 months.
Must admit quite like the thought of being paid, to absorb carbon, but, how much paperwork, for how much cash ?
On the rape/kale job, it will be nice to reduce our reliance on it, and i think the inwintering of cattle, and taking the fym out to spread, is probably a better option than outwintering, all though the 'experts' say it's cheaper, do they take into account soil damage ? Going forward, would really prefer nearly all grass, and some under sown corn for reseeds, although a protien arable grain, would be nice to reduce soya use, but there isn't one yet, to tempt me. Talking through, and reading on here, reckon we have got the 'system' sorted, to move forward, i think we are covered for a dry summer, but not for a really growing one, it's a where do we put it all, problem, 2,000ton, in a 1,000 silage pit, might make it rather high, but welcome.
Beans any good for your protein?
 

awkward

Member
Location
kerry ireland
I did the maths on selling the sequestered carbon at around £140 an acre based on some rough sequestering figures for grazing and the current market price for carbon offsets that I saw. Problem seems to be proving what you've captured. The markets for selling the sequestered carbon are already there, we just need a robust measure of what we have stored and we can sell into it.
I'd be interested to see what other people think we could get.
I quite like the idea of using a soil test whereby you dry some soil. Weight it. Then cook it in an oven for a given time before weighing again. The proposal I saw said this gave an indication of soil carbon by what was burnt off as CO2.
I think to get it recognised by the scientific community we would have to prove the accuracy of the test, develop a authorised base of laboratories to do the work and take samples that can show traceability to each field. No doubt there would be alot of room for fiddling the results which would also need to be counteracted.
I was wondering about drafting a research proposal on this subject and starting a crowdfunding page, advertised on TFF to try and get some of this done. My thinking being that big business is researching us out of the industry to line their pockets, we should fight back and focus research in line with what we are seeing on the ground and maybe this time we can profit.

Sorry for the long post...🤐
 
I did the maths on selling the sequestered carbon at around £140 an acre based on some rough sequestering figures for grazing and the current market price for carbon offsets that I saw. Problem seems to be proving what you've captured. The markets for selling the sequestered carbon are already there, we just need a robust measure of what we have stored and we can sell into it.
I'd be interested to see what other people think we could get.
I quite like the idea of using a soil test whereby you dry some soil. Weight it. Then cook it in an oven for a given time before weighing again. The proposal I saw said this gave an indication of soil carbon by what was burnt off as CO2.
I think to get it recognised by the scientific community we would have to prove the accuracy of the test, develop a authorised base of laboratories to do the work and take samples that can show traceability to each field. No doubt there would be alot of room for fiddling the results which would also need to be counteracted.
I was wondering about drafting a research proposal on this subject and starting a crowdfunding page, advertised on TFF to try and get some of this done. My thinking being that big business is researching us out of the industry to line their pockets, we should fight back and focus research in line with what we are seeing on the ground and maybe this time we can profit.

Sorry for the long post...🤐
Strange world we live in, when certain people are calling for a carbon tax on meat, while meat producers could get paid for sequestering carbon.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Beans any good for your protein?
acres. 1.5 ton/acre beans, don't go very far, same with peas, soya beans need further processing, lupins are a more specialist crop. Rape meal, treated is a good sub for soya, but as no effective chemicals, amount grown reducing rapidly'
Seriously looked at beans, but you need acres, and although i disagree, they don't feed well. In the end, it's probably cheaper and easier to buy in the protien, unless you are an arable farmer.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
If they put a carbon tax on meat I am going to declare independence
isn't this what the nba are saying, smaller cattle, less carbon, same as greg judy in USA, smaller cattle, most would be pleased at owning a herd like that, even more so, if you look uphill at them ! But the trade doesn't isn't geared up for it over here, so until it does, it wont work. When we had our carbon audit done, a few years ago now, some of the things that made a big downward movement, were smaller cows, longer lasting, therefore lower replacement rate, that and eating more grass, and staying out longer.
It's not rocket science to see those advantages, take for example, an 11,000 litre dairy herd, probably needing a 35% replacement rate, cows weighing 700kg, eating 65kg a day fresh weight, as they are on a finely tuned ration, indoors 24/7. Food is brought to them, everyday by diesel, all cleaned out by diesel, probably x2 a day, all slurry taken away, and spread by diesel. Then look at the food, soya from the americas, palm oil product from the far east, every bit of grass cut several times, and hauled in, by diesel, then look at the maize.
Compare that with a 450/550 kg cow, grazing 200+ days a year, lasting 5/6 lactations, eating 1.5 ton, or less of conc, rather than the 4 ton a hol would need, plus producing more solids, less water, diesel a fraction of above, and spreading at least 2/3 of their sh1t, it looks even worse written down. Having said that, our smallest, true grass rats are on the mkt, numbers wise we had 30/40 to sell, just to keep numbers down, were going to sell them fresh, but where the mkt is, why bother, that will leave us 150/60 milkers, that's enough for us, labour, or rather lack of it, dictates that, we would rather keep the beef calves, than have more milkers.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
It's starting to get really... real.. little piles of posts dotted about the place...
View attachment 935900
coils of net...
concrete water troughs will be coming out tomorrow in a few places, and another old fence coming down.

Then a roadie next weekend hopefully to pick up 100 microtroughs and tees, wire

We'll reuse most of the posts for node posts on our lanes, over the crests and through the creeks especially, just a bit more robust than having everything swinging on arrowposts but still plenty of flex in everything. A post every 20 metres is still going to give us a lot of stuff to sell off!
would they be CCA treated ?
 
acres. 1.5 ton/acre beans, don't go very far, same with peas, soya beans need further processing, lupins are a more specialist crop. Rape meal, treated is a good sub for soya, but as no effective chemicals, amount grown reducing rapidly'
Seriously looked at beans, but you need acres, and although i disagree, they don't feed well. In the end, it's probably cheaper and easier to buy in the protien, unless you are an arable farmer.
Could you expand on the treatment for rape meal please, is it not possible to use it "as pressed"
 

Samcowman

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
acres. 1.5 ton/acre beans, don't go very far, same with peas, soya beans need further processing, lupins are a more specialist crop. Rape meal, treated is a good sub for soya, but as no effective chemicals, amount grown reducing rapidly'
Seriously looked at beans, but you need acres, and although i disagree, they don't feed well. In the end, it's probably cheaper and easier to buy in the protien, unless you are an arable farmer.
Or if you are not too far away from an arable farmer that grows them.
We have traditionally used beans in our finishing ration. Have used beans and red clover wholecrop this year. Now onto just red clover. Pretty pleased with how it’s gone.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
would they be CCA treated ?
Yes. Probably driven around 2000/2001 and will see me out, Goldpine puts a 50 year guarantee on them... They're good posts for their small size IMO.
20210123_194524.jpg

I think they grow the pines especially for fencepost use (slow grown in a slow growing area) just to get the density up, and they are a ¼ round with rounded "corners" so pretty versatile.
I drove a lot in around my creeks last year to help with the pseudo technograzing we did over winter
(somewhere to terminate the fences + a power feed) so they can come back out again as well

Far superior to the "tips" they used to foist off on us as economy posts, pine tips being about the most brittle and low density wood imaginable and even a rock underground would shatter them when you gave them a bit much 'monkey'

I will probably get a bundle of half-rounds to use as strainers for the ends of the big pulls, even though there's spring assemblies and lighter wire, these systems do a lot of "work" with bikes riding over them etc etc as opposed to the static strain of a conventional post+wire fence... (if you work on 150kg tension times 9 wires that's a lot of pull, this will maybe have 60kg on the post but lots of movement)

Basically most of the node posts (where wires cross wires) will get one of these driven in, mainly just because of the way the lanes run up and over the contour, the tension would try to pull the whole lot over if we just used fibreglass right through.

The crossing fences (the ones that make the individual paddocks) will only really need a single supporting arrowpost in the middle of the span (25 metre spans, the lanes are max 50 m across)
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
Or if you are not too far away from an arable farmer that grows them.
We have traditionally used beans in our finishing ration. Have used beans and red clover wholecrop this year. Now onto just red clover. Pretty pleased with how it’s gone.
yes, and have done, but unless next door, it's hassle, weight always an issue, so take the feeder wagon, no local weighbridge, it just eats time, sounds great in theory, but not so good, in action, that and agreeing a suitable time'
protien, we grow hybrid rye, as said before, this year, we have grown it with winter vetch, to try and up protien, will post results, silage ground, red clover and prg, the idea, to cut only, multi cut, but things don't always go to plan, and has been grazed. Home grown protien will save serious money, but other than the vetch, growing it ourselves, really means top notch silage, with clover.
 

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