mob stocking

Discussion in 'Direct Drilling General Discussion' started by martian, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. I wouldn't say it would just come right necessarily. You would need to know what kind of soil fertility you are dealing with - you may be low in P or pH
     
  2. marco

    marco Member

    Location:
    tipperary, ireland
    arn't buttercups a sign of calcium deficiency? as will says whats the ph?
     
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  3. 5312

    5312 Member

    The soil has not been tested for a long time but we are on limestone.

    I wasn't sure if it is worth worrying about at present, we have far more grass than we need right now. We are understocked and I am keeping as many heifers as possible each year. But the farm was quite run down when I took over.

    Why can't some clever scientist improve the nutritional value of buttercups, they grow like crazy here :)
     
  4. The understocking may be a reason. Are you grazing intensively enough?
     
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  5. Ffermer Bach

    Ffermer Bach Member

    just told yesterday, that overground pipe cant be blue (as the sunlight can get through it and bacteria can grow), apparently we changed from black to blue because of European regulations and you can still buy black pipe via the internet.
     
  6. 5312

    5312 Member

    It is being grazed enough when it is grazed.

    Some of it is being left longer than ideal, the cows will graze outside all winter on grass that hasn't been grazed for 6 months.

    The younger stock is rotated on grass about 6 weeks old.

    As I said initially, even the lawn is being invaded even though it is being cut short regularly as it always has been.

    I know that it would be better to lime the farm and spray off the buttercups but that would be a large expense at present.

    The quality of the grasses growing has improved enormously since as Greg Judy predicted, I was hoping I could go without liming as he said he did as well
     
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  7. Having been to greg judys place i wouldnt take everything as gospel. Take bits of what he does and apply it to you. If you have low ph then lime will pay you bacl
     
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  8. Dead Rabbits

    Dead Rabbits Member

    Location:
    'Merica
    Why did you go to Greg Judy's place?
     
  9. ChrisStep

    ChrisStep New Member

    Black costs about 50% more than blue when I priced it. Surface pipe will get lost in the undergrowth fairly quickly and not let a lot of light through. If you've got water flowing all the time it should stop any bacterial buildup. I think the warmth is the problem for bacteria, not light (use UV to treat water). Light will cause the plastic to degrade and go brittle eventually. Black might slow UV deterioration. Will it last 50% longer?
     
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  10. Was on a trip round usa learning about holistic management and went to see him
     
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  11. Dead Rabbits

    Dead Rabbits Member

    Location:
    'Merica
    That's interesting, been within two hours of him most my life and never been there.

    Where else did you go?
     
  12. York

    York Member

    Location:
    D-Berlin
    Greg is a very interesting caracter.
    Have even got a private gras fed beef burger in his kitchen.
    Nicest was when he showed me his tractor :)
    went to his farm early August. all pasture in the whole region was brown, surrounding cattle standing in the ponds for cooling & fed on hay. His cattle: nice shiny coats, no flies hovering around & lot's of green gas. Impressive to walk as a stranger through a heard of suckler cows, 3 bulls & some cows fresh delivered. I was never feeling in such a heard so safe as in his. Absolutely convincing, on the spot.
    Was a great time with him.
    York-Th.
     
  13. martian

    martian DD Moderator

    Location:
    N Herts
    We've had buttercup storms here too, they come and they go and I can't quite work out why they come and why they go, so I'm interested in anyone's theories.
    The worst buttercup field last year was a piece that we grazed down a bit hard the previous summer and I put in down to that, ie we'd debilitated the grass and let the buttercups grow without enough competition. We left a good mat of forage after grazing last year (as you say, the cattle will eat them without coming to any obvious harm) and this year there was only a smattering of buttercups in an otherwise grassy sward.
    Pleasingly we are seeing more and more clover coming in the old pastures. Where the clover is thick, there doesn't seem to be many buttercups...win/win. Like you, I've decided not to lime or fertilise in any way beyond grazing management and the grass is getting better and better every year. I've also abandoned putting mineral pots out, without anyone noticing. When I did top one of the buckets up, the cattle barely touched the mineral, so they must be getting all they need from the deep rooting forage.
    I bumped into Greg Judy last winter at the No-Till on the Plains Conference, what an interesting man. He sounded enthusiastic about talking at Groundswell, I think I'd better sign him up
     
  14. ChrisStep

    ChrisStep New Member

    Well I've just taken our cattle off the grass and put them inside after my first year of mob grazing. I had 74 steers starting av 345kg grazing 33 acres of newly seeded, late headed perennial ryegrass. DLWG through the season was 0.7kg, which I would class as disappointing. I did set stock it with ewes and lambs until mid May and cut half of it for silage to try and get on top of the brome grass. We were generally on daily moves of 1/2 acre and back fencing every third day, although when we were short of time we moved them every 3 days into 1.5 acres. North East England.
    Things I would do different next time:
    Include clover in the seed mix
    More nitrogen, especially late season
    Possibly more sulphur with it.
    Don't use ivomec - very slow breakdown of muck
    Let the grass grow longer - cattle fairly loose, especially late season.
    Put some pipes in - sick of running about with a bowser, and it's not doing the soil any good.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  15. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Sounds like you've had a good first year!

    I think you've answered most of your own questions really.
    Definitely, legumes, easiest way I've found is taking out a bucket of all different clovers when they're behind a wire and soil is moist - dust it on the new break and graze.
    Animals do the rest.
    Will greatly aid the protein level of their feed if plenty of legumes are in the sward.
    Sheep are good, is it possible to run the sheep with the cattle?
    I've noticed great symbiosis here with the two together, as opposed to separate rounds.
    But, test the soil for elemental ratios etc
    Won't get into the Albrecht debate :whistle:
    And also, if you have seed money, try to set a goal of what your ideal sward looks like.
    Aim for a variety of species with a variety of root depths and structures, you will have heard it before, but it's the single biggest driver on our wee place.
    You'll find you don't need to make as many excuses, as the rest of the district :cool:
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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  16. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    I will sneakily say to ignore Olsen P
    My average 'Oh, Pee' level is only 17 and it romps along just fine, don't want to be too controversial of course, but I believe it to be a highjump bar set by P fertiliser salesfolk.
    Soil test base saturation needs to be taken with some NaCl imo - it's what's available that is available!
    I always sound like a smarty pants sorry, I learn every day!!
     
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  17. All poly pipe here is black

    Obviously we have high UV, but our black poly can last at least 20 yrs or more in the sunlight
     
  18. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
  19. Thanks
    That was a great video
     
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