True BYH Addict
- Jan 18, 2011
- Reaction score
G'day I recently heard about this from a friend ,so what are the added difficulty's in farming in these "acid" regions?...T.O.R.
That would be great but that is not working with nature when nature didnt cause the problem. Soil is constantly becoming more and more acidic unless you live someplace like a dessert. Acid rain makes soil go acidic, water leeching through soil, large amounts of organic matter decomposing, adding fertilizer, etc. So when you take an old cattle/dairy farm that was over populated with cows on not enough pasture to support them and than you take a portion of that pasture and use it to make hay and heavily fertilize it......this is not nature at all. The fact that we have acid rain esp in the midwest is not nature either. You can sit back and let nature make the best out of what she is given but overtime your pastures will eventually be no good anymore because the acidity will get to high for the plant types that grow on their own to carry enough nutrients to the animals. If we need to plow and put lime on a grass hay field once every 5-10yrs than that is what we choose to do. We do not use fertilizer except what falls out of our animals and we do not overcrowd so once the field is limed it should mostly fix the acid problem for many years.G'day,thank you for your replies,in our case no amount of Lime would ever solve our acidity as it goes down forever and if your aim is a perennial base for your pasture aren't you working against Nature? So maybe your aim is to plough your farm each year to raise an annual crop of whatever?
Nature has for time immemorial set about evolving plants that flourish in this acid environment and on our place has done quite a good job with a long list of plants both annual and perennial which has fed the local wildlife over the century's,so along comes farmers who want to raise sheep,cattle, goats and the like in this unsuitable land.When we obtained this farm is was a "wreck" with the main pasture being weeds as far as the eye could see.The main reason for our success on the farm was to introduce the mineral mix(based on Pat Colby's advice) "fed to the sheep" and not to try and change the underlying structure of the soils.
In the time we have been on farms I have found that the "simplistic and most profitable" solution is the one that supports the landscape,soils and the underlying biology rather than challenging it and trying to bend it into a shape that suits us.
Anyway I hope the topic has caused you to stop and consider just what it is you want to achieve and how you will accomplish it and are your current actions achieving the desired outcome....T.O.R.