A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE OLD RAM

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,711
Points
553
Location
East Texas
was told that the way to manage the pasture down here is to use every blade of grass produced in the spring/summer cycle and then "hand feed' the stock over winter
:rolleyes:
Exactly what part of that is supposed to equal "manage"?
Manage his way into the poorhouse maybe, while lining the purse of the feed-N-seed salesman.

But, I see lots of people do it that way. They never plant or encourage a cool season grass--native or otherwise, or set aside an area just for that and they just feed hay on what is now bare ground that was also their summer pastures.

I'm guilty of it to some extent, in part, because I have to deal with all the high water leaching so much of the nutrients out of about 1/3 of my property. Had high water 3 times in 30 days Dec 2018-Jan 2019. The key to good forage and soil management is plenty of cross fences and gates for rotation, but water doesn't respect either of those.
 

The Old Ram-Australia

True BYH Addict
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
737
Reaction score
1,126
Points
263
G'day, in the pic's the outside pic is actually in the yards,which is an indicator of just how much grass we have at the present.Just out of interest GB, where is the leaching taking place ,is it the top,middle or bottom of your farm?...T.O.R.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
18,860
Reaction score
46,625
Points
793
Location
Northeast Texas
@greybeard will be along shortly to answer that, complete with pictures. I won't "steal his thunder" on that, pictures say more than I ever could.
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,711
Points
553
Location
East Texas
Just out of interest GB, where is the leaching taking place ,is it the top,middle or bottom of your farm?...T.O.R.
Take your pick.
https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/hurricane-harvey.36636/page-38
https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/hurricane-harvey.36636/page-18#post-517475
That of course was the once in 500 yr flood of 2017, but I get water on the lower 1/3 to lower 3/4 of the property several times per year. My land is flat, with no more than 5' variance from the lowest point adjacent to the river to highest points on the property where my house is located.
The problem isn't so much how high the water gets, as how often it happens, and the soil type and my surrounding area's plant life, and what it does to my pH. Historically, floods spread nutrients out onto a flood plain, but my floods are of such short duration, (usually 24-30 hrs) and because the water is moving rather than standing except for a very few hours, that the water doesn't sit long enough for the nutrients and minerals in the sediment to drop out and be left on the top of the soil. Upstream, there isn't a lot of loose minerals and vegetative matter that can be washed down and dropped anyway. I am under burdened with limestone, but it's hundreds of feet below surface. Reading the old USGS soil types for my part of Texas, it's always evidently been this way for a very long time, as they described my county in a 1940s publication as "leached out", tho I believe in my local case, microscopic soil erosion is the main culprit as well as nitrate removal; (NO3 - ), ammonium (NH4 +), and organic nitrogen takes place every time the water flows over the soil surface.. My average 'advertised' rainfall is just north of 55 inches, with real world rainfall closer to 60" the last few years.

And, my place is surrounded by a 163,000 acre National Forest of pine trees meaning the upstream water and even local rains coming out of that forest and flow across my property toward the river are acidic, which plays havoc with the pH. It's a constant fight to keep the pH close to where I want it.
 
Last edited:

The Old Ram-Australia

True BYH Addict
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
737
Reaction score
1,126
Points
263
G'day GB,to my mind this "chat" shows the lengths some of us go to to "live the dream" of farming.From the way you speak your farm was originally part of a larger aggregation and was split to appease the descendants.Has it ever been discussed that the different blocks be reunited with all the owners benefiting from the profits of the whole farm?

Battling P H is a a war we all face in livestock production ,because in the main the livestock evolved in different lands and climate to our own piece of "dirt".

The main benefit of these sidelights to the main is that others in the group begin "thinking" about their own circumstances and these thoughts can the the beginning of "change" in the way they manage and pursue outcomes in the future....T.O.R.
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,711
Points
553
Location
East Texas
I'm the only one in the family that has any interest whatsoever in agriculture here at this location. My 2 older sisters (mid-late 70s) have other property about 5-6 miles up the road from me and the one that has some property immediately adjacent to me hasn't walked on it in 2 years and as far as I know, will never do anything with it.

None of my children want anything to do with this property other than fishing on it now and/or monetizing it by selling it when I'm gone. The only other person that had any interest was my twin and he died in late 2017. His part of it is up for sale by his children. (I have no interest in it, as it is all woods and I won't give them the satisfaction of paying their price for it anyway)

It used to raise some good crops. This is an old picture, probably from the 1970s or very early 1980s if I remember correctly. You have to look hard, but on the upper left 1/3
you can see a field of corn.

pondandcorn.jpg
 
Last edited:

The Old Ram-Australia

True BYH Addict
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
737
Reaction score
1,126
Points
263
G'day GB,we are in a similar position,the two girls would be unlikely to move to the farm and our son has be estranged for years and years .We do have one grandson who may like the idea and it is something I will consult him on at a point in the future..T.O.R.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
18,860
Reaction score
46,625
Points
793
Location
Northeast Texas
It is a sad fact that land is usually not appreciated by the next generation, and by the time a descendant comes along that would have immersed him/herself in the farm, it has been frittered away, the money spent and nothing to show for it.
 

Rammy

Herd Master
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
2,448
Reaction score
6,881
Points
383
Location
Tennessee
Yeah. It gets split up.in smaller farmettes for people who want to play farmer but dont want to spend the time and energy doing whats needed to care for the land to maintain it. What a shame.
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,711
Points
553
Location
East Texas
Not exactly the way it always is. It does get split up, but it it rarely begins in small farm splits. Many of the very large family owned farms began being too valuable to leave intact back around the mid 50s and that trend has continued until today and will continue to be the norm. Most production farming today (and for the last 30 yrs) has been able to be done only by carrying a buttload of debt. Only way to clear out that debt is to monetize the land........sell it and it will always bring more $$ divided up into ever smaller tracts than selling it as one big tract. My own place was once nearly 1500 ac, but over the decades went into smaller tracts and is now actually three 41 ac tracts combined... over 1/2 of which belong to family other than myself, whose land I run cattle on.
(I did learn just today, that my deceased brother's place has finally sold and the new owners want to keep the lease that allows us to run cows on that parcel.)
 
Last edited:
Top