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Holistic pasture management/farming.....

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by Beekissed, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Sep 30, 2019
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Herd Master

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    ....anyone doing it?

    Through the Lord's leading, I had started some of these methods over the years and even here recently (found, by God's design, how much seed and fertilizer there is in mulch hay and started scavenging for it to spread on this nutrient poor soil)without having knowledge that others had come to the same conclusion but in other ways, but am pleased to find out others have found the same methods and are implementing them to improve pasture and soil health.

    Here's some vids on some of it.....



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=194&v=0JoLYw-HNvs





    There's tons more info out there but I think this can be applied to smallholdings if a person just wants to work at it and move livestock in such a way as to improve the pasture rather than denude it and then start a dry lot situation.
     
    Stephine likes this.
  2. Oct 2, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    This is going to be a good thread. Recently we moved the horses hay ring on the pipeline so the dropped hay and manure can help the soil. When we get another bale, we move the location in order to cover the pipeline. We get not so great square bales to spread also.
     
    Beekissed and B&B Happy goats like this.
  3. Oct 2, 2019
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Herd Master

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    I'm getting a bigger, more heavy duty trailer in the spring so I can scavenge all the free mulch round bales I can garner and spread out on this land. This year I was able to get 14.5 free round bales for that purpose. That guy had some great, clean hay in his fields, so I felt confident about spreading his bales.

    I'm thinking a person would have to be careful about what quality of seed they are spreading....some folks bale up pure trash/weeds out there and feed it to their cows.

    Since I've already started this, I'm going to expand the idea to using polywire electric fencing to form my grazing paddocks so I can move the sheep to fresh graze in a mob grazing style. That will mean I can keep more sheep than I had originally planned for the first few years, so if I get any good ewe lambs this next spring, I'll be keeping them to form a goodly number in my "mob".
     
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  4. Oct 2, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I chicken tractor the Cornish Cross I raise each spring. I bed them with hay 1st day, add more hay 2nd day, move tractor 3rd day. This spring was the 2nd time I raised them and it does improve the soil.

    We had the horse pasture forestry mulched. it left the big trees and chewed up the smaller ones, leaving a layer of mulch behind. Right now we are in drought, under a burn ban, dry, dry, dry and need rain. After we get a good rain, we are going to pull back some of the mulch in strips and plant Crimson clover and a triploid rye grass. The clover will fix nitrogen in the soil. In the spring, I'm going to sow bahia seed.
     
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  5. Oct 2, 2019
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Herd Master

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    I'm wondering if you can plant right into that mulch? Seems a shame to pull it back when the clover can grow right in it and through it. Also wondering what would happen if you just get mulch round bales spread on it instead of trying to buy seed and plant it. The hay mulches down quicker than wood chip and can give you a covering and quick top soil in which the seed it contains can grow.
     
  6. Oct 2, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    The seed needs contact with soil or it will not germinate. I have looked for old hay bales around here, in almost 5 years, have not found any. I use the dead hay from the sheep and horses round bales to spread on the pastures.

    The wood chips from the land clearing will form swales to help control erosion.
     
    frustratedearthmother likes this.
  7. Oct 2, 2019
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Herd Master

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    How deep and solid is the mulched wood in that area? Any spaces wherein the seed can fall to the soil below?

    How expensive are round bales in your area, Bay? Would it be feasible to buy regular round bales and roll them out on that area, thereby using the seeds in the bales and the bales themselves to plant that area?

    This guy's vids are most informative on pasture building holistically....this vid in particular he tells about buying up round bales and how much seed was in them, what type and how expensive that seed mix goes for when you buy it by the pound, etc.



    That's the same conclusion I came too after seeing how much seed and what type of growth I got by just putting hay down to keep the dog run from being so muddy. Lush and tall red clover came up the following spring and that was in an area that is mostly shaded!

    What these guys are doing in those barren areas is rolling out the hay they feed instead of using it as a round bale. A lot gets trampled, wasted and mashed into the soil, especially if doing the mob grazing...and the result is a seeded pasture that didn't require much effort or machine work, not to mention buying of seed.
     
  8. Oct 2, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    We buy round bales for $60, they are Bermuda and not a lot of seed.

    The mulch is pretty deep in most of the area. it will require being pulled back to expose the soil so seed can make contact. I am ok with that, as we can form the mulch into swales, cover with dirt or horse manure. The swales will slow down the water run off, keeping more of it on our property.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Oct 2, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    The big log in the picture above was left to act as a swale. It was a huge oak tree that died in the drought of 2011. We have two massive dead pine trees that need to come down and they will also be used to slow down the rain run off. Up in a front pasture was a large pine log that we left instead of cutting it up and dragging to the burn pile. It has rotted and is now adding humus and fertility to the soil.
     
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  10. Oct 3, 2019
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Herd Master

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    Finding Greg Judy's YT channel to be a wealth of info on how they develop pasture and do their mob grazing of cattle and sheep. I'm particularly interested in the sheep....he's using St. Croix and have developed a flock that is parasite resistant to the point of being almost entirely parasite free. Some of that is due to the development of the genetics for it but also a lot due to the rotational grazing aspect of his management.