Senile Texas Aggie - comic relief for the rest of you

Bruce

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Apparently they failed to pass along the word so that the parts could get ordered.
:he :somad

but then we would get bored not having to go around ledge sticing up, and bit patches of trees in the middle of the field, and up and down hills.
Sounds like here ... except I just flail the growing stuff down, couldn't make any feed hay out of it, more weeds than grass.

I told him no, because while I could not smell the manure, my Beautiful Gal has a nose like a bloodhound and she would have been able to smell it.
The smell doesn't last long, take her on a short vacation :D
 

farmerjan

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I am not criticizing but you are doing a disservice to your land by not allowing manure as a fertilizer. Both for the actual fertilizing benefit, but for the organic matter that i puts back into the ground. You will be starving the land out in several years. NO AMOUNT of chemical fertilizer will be able to put into the ground what it needs in the way of organic matter. I get the sensitive nose... but there has to be consideration for the land.... and the prices of chemical fertilizer is so volatile..... and it does not feed the soil or the crops except for the current year.

We try to use the poultry litter just before a rain so that much of the smell is mitigated.

How about allowing them to use composted manure which will not have the strong smell of fresh manure? What kind of manure are they wanting to use? Most of the poultry litter we get now is composted at the poultry farm, in litter sheds that are designed to keep the water/rain off, and that preserves the nutrients. The heating process of the composting will break down the manure and takes care of alot of the smell....

They are going to get a smaller and smaller crop of hay if you do not find a way to feed the soil, not just the current crop.
What about going on a vacation and letting them use it so that by the time you return in a week, the smell will all but be completely dissipated? Well composted manure with plenty of "carbonaceous material' (sawdust, shavings , straw, some type of bedding) does not smell so bad...

We are averaging 2 rolls per acre on the plain mixed grass hay fields, for 2nd cutting; and about 1 1/2 times that on the improved orchard grass fields. Had about 500 sq bales and 7 rolls (avg 22 bales per roll) so another 125+ sq bales maybe.... off about 8 acres where the cell tower went in(usually right at 10 acres) with the places we couldn't cut and the ground that had been displaced for the road and all. Some of that will be reseeded next year after all the topsoil is spread from where they piled if when putting in the road and all....
So say 600 sq bales off 8 acres or the equivalent of 25-28 rolls..... so that is about right....8 acres x 3 rolls =24 rolls.
 

Baymule

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@farmerjan is 100% right. Chemical fertilizers burn the soil, killing the bacteria that make it a living soil. Manures add humus. Humus is the building block to better soil, feeding the soil, which feeds the plants. The grasses you described are not the greatest, even my sheep won't eat tickle grass, it is a poverty grass with little nutrients. At some point, the soil will be utterly exhausted and it won't be worth the expense of baling it. Then there goes your agriculture tax exemption., not to mention the degradation of your top soil.

We have worked so hard to improve our piss pore beach sand soil, I just about want to cry at your refusal to use manures in favor of chemical fertilizers. yes, poultry litter smells, but like has been said, go on vacation. Surly a week of smell is worth what the manure will to for the overall health of your land.

Not fussing at you, just asking that you reconsider and pointing out why.
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Thanks, everyone, for your wise advice. I will talk to my Beautiful Gal and see what she thinks. I certainly do not want to deplete my soil, but instead would like to build it up. If using manure on the fields and then needing to take a vacation is the way to do it, then that makes a lot of sense. Again, thank you again, Miss @farmerjan and Miss @Baymule, for your advice.
 

Bruce

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You watch Stoney Ridge Farmer right? Go back and look at how he is improving his soil naturally.

I remember reading a few years ago about a couple that took over the family farm in VT. No grasses would grow without scads of chemical fertilizer because his family had killed the soil WITH chemical fertilizer decade after decade. IIRC they ran sheep followed by chickens (and MAYBE then pigs??). Takes time but the animals will put back those bacteria that the chemical fertilizers killed. Also get the soil tested to see if it is too acid or base or seriously lacking in some minerals.
 

Baymule

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I raise Cornish Cross meat chickens in the spring, now again this fall. I put them on a movable coop, called a chicken tractor. They poop huge volumes of poop. I use that to improve my soil.

I raised pigs twice in pasture 2 to get a jump start on fertility. I deep litter in the Sheep barn. Their round bale of hay is in their barn and they waste lots of it. They poop and pee, the waste hay soaks it up and composts in place. This past early summer, BJ tilled it, a neighbor kid and I loaded it in the mule and we spread it on pastures. There was very little smell LOL.

Since last winter we have been feeding the horses round bale on the pipeline. They also waste hay and poop a lot. We recently covered the pipeline with wood chips for added humus. Come spring, we’ll take the horses off and sow grass seed. The humus from the hay, manure and wood chips is making a phenomenal difference.

I have tried so hard to get grass, GOOD grass to grow. It would come up, the summer heat scorched the sand, with no humus to hold moisture and protect the roots, the roots fried, grass died.

I am passionate about being a good steward of the land. I definitely will leave it better than I found it.
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Recently I watched many of Greg Judy's YouTube channel videos. I really liked the idea of rebuilding the soil by using cattle and sheep on the fields. He rotates frequently (every day or every other day I seem to recall). It was quite appealing. But then I got to wondering how I would get water to the cattle and sheep and any other needs the animals might have. I may need to study his videos more carefully, as the idea of intensive rotational grazing is quite appealing to me.

As for getting the soil analyzed, IIRC, I did that May of last year. One thing the soil needs is lime, as it is too acidic. I don't remember what else -- I can't find the report at the moment but I know a copy is right here on my journal -- but I had hoped that the guy to whom I leased the land would do that. He may do so, but I guess he has less incentive to do that than I do since he would get only some benefit from the cost while I would get more benefit. Anyway, you folks have given me something to think about.

Yesterday the equipment dealer called and said that the mower was ready. I am not sure why the parts came in so quickly, but I didn't complain. When I got to the dealer, they said it was all done under warranty so there was no charge! Yay! One of the causes of the PTO shaft getting twisted was that the mechanic who assembled the mower prior to my taking delivery used the incorrect grade of bolt for the shear pin. Instead of using a grade 5 bolt he used a grade 10! Also, the snap ring that I could not remove in order to get the yoke off the gear box shaft -- the same guy was not supposed to put that on! Now it doesn't have a snap ring to keep the yoke from coming off should the shear bolt break, which is how my old mower is configured. So it was no charge for me. When I got home I tried out the mower and it worked fine.

Senile Texas Aggie
 

farmerjan

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Just for your consideration, @Senile_Texas_Aggie ; we will not lime another persons farm unless we have a minimum of AT LEAST a 5 year lease, and that is only on 2 places that we SPLIT the cost.....We only lime our own OWNED places. Lime is not cheap anymore.... and the best effect does not take place until the 2nd or 3rd year. You will see a little benefit the first year, but it needs to work it's way down into the soil and is much slower released. That has always been the responsibility of the landowner. Plus, if it is calling for very much lime... if the soil is very acidic, then you have to apply it in multiple applications, such as some in spring and then again in the fall; as it just won't be as effective if applied all at once. And if the soils are acidic in the area in general, then you are looking at lime applications every couple of years. For someone making just hay, there is no real benefit for them to put that kind of money into it because although it is improving the land overall, the small margin of profit on the hay just doesn't justify it except as I said with a long term lease. Even then, just plain mixed grass hay will not justify that kind of input cost with the cost of making the hay.
Years ago sq bales were selling for $2 - 2.50..... I am talking 40+ yrs ago. Now we are lucky to get $5 a bale out of the field, and $6-7 a bale delivered. So say the value of the hay has tripled in 40 years..... the cost of equipment has probably increased 10 x..... fuel was $.75/gal and now is $2.25 at least (3x) , Help used to be $2-3 an hour... for decent hardworking help..... now you can't find help for $10/hr.... and it is often not worth spit ....so 5x.... No matter how you figure it, we cannot put back into your ground more than we can reasonably get for the product.....

Don't expect the hay guy to lime the fields.....there is not enough money in the hay for him to even break even. We would not do it for you even "knowing you". We don't do it for the friend where we have been making hay for 20 years.... we fertilize and use alot of poultry litter. That used to be CHEAP and easy to get. Now with all the EPA crap, and the poultry farms that have to build buildings to compost the manure... under roof and protected from the "elements"... that is running $25-35 a ton. And we require an analysis from the farm so we know what we will have to supplement the litter with, in order to get best results, according to the soil tests.

I am telling you this so that you can better understand that there is no great margin for improvements when you are on another's land It is not because we don't care.... it is because we cannot afford to do it. Simple math. Cost of all inputs, verses value of product produced.
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Miss @farmerjan,

Thank you for your perceptive comments. I feared that it would not make financial sense for the guy baling the hay to invest in liming the land, so if it gets done, it is up to me.

Now I am not certain what is best. I would like to improve the land rather than make it worse, but I don't want to spend mucho dinero to do that. You see, we have been burning through our retirement nest egg faster than I had originally had planned, enough so that I am started to get a bit concerned. (And I say this after having spent $45,000 for a new tractor.) So I don't want to spend a lot of money on the land (or on anything else) if I can avoid it. So that makes me wonder if it would make sense to try a small scale animal operation of either sheep or goats to graze the grass and deposit their natural fertilizer on it. Since I have never owned farm animals before, it would definitely be a learning experience. But I have a whole forum of folks to help and inspire me on what to do or not do. Anyone up to the challenge of guiding a neophyte animal herder ?

Senile Texas Aggie
 

Finnie

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I can’t wait to see you have animals on your land!

I see you’ve already found Greg Judy’s videos. @Beekissed swears by them.

I wonder if you can carefully manage your herd(s) so that they will pay for themselves or even bring in some profit. That would really help stretch your nest egg.
 
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