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Spreading manure

Discussion in 'Everything Else Cattle' started by Cindy in SD, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Nov 6, 2018
    farmerjan

    farmerjan True BYH Addict

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    I kept waiting for him to go flying off it....:lol:
     
  2. Nov 7, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    One can only imagine the amt of dust and dried feces particles that ended up in the tire rider's airway.......
     
  3. Nov 7, 2018
    Cindy in SD

    Cindy in SD Ridin' The Range

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    Thanks all. We do have some old cattle panels. I’ll figure a way to use one of those. Maybe strap or chain or wire some posts to it. About adding lime... the grass is good now, but I didn’t realize having cattle on it would make the soil too acid. Since we are in the middle of the Black Hills national Forest (nearly all pine and spruce) I’m guessing that the grass we have, whatever kinds it is, must be fairly acid tolerant. Or are all grasses more or less similar in regard to the soils they prefer? Sadly, I’ve never been much of a gardener except for a brief stint when I lived in Ohio. I had really quite a good garden there. It had to be the soil and the climate, though. It sure wasn’t me.

    Is it worth-while getting a pH tester? Or is it better to just go with litmus paper? I found one called “Gain Express soil pH and moisture meter” at Amazon. (Sorry I can’t figure out how to copy or even see the Amazon link to it; the app keeps coming up and when I try to go there in my browser, that also opens the app. :p)
     
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  4. Nov 7, 2018
    Cindy in SD

    Cindy in SD Ridin' The Range

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    No kidding... well at least he had a dust mask on. I hope he went straight into the truck wash after that! :-o
     
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  5. Nov 7, 2018
    farmerjan

    farmerjan True BYH Addict

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    Probably you have grass that is tolerant to your soils, but if you keep adding pine or cedar or other types of acidic bedding, the ph will drop. If you get a soil sample done, the ph will also come back on that. And if cattle are fairly new to your specific ground, the existing grasses will change as the animals produce manure and the soil changes. In most cases, if the ph is too low, all the fertilizer in the world won't help, so PH is pretty important. I have never used a ph test kit, just what the soil samples said each year. And most grasses, weeds, and shrubs/brush will evolve over time to tolerate where they are growing... that is why there are different grasses in New England, Va. , Ca. and Tx.....
     
  6. Nov 7, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    You can get a rough idea of your soil by clicking your county at the following link.
    https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/surveylist/soils/survey/state/?stateId=SD

    Altho a home pH tester is nice and handy, it doesn't tell you how much lime (or none) you might need in order to correct the pH. Get with your county agent and find out what the procedure is in SD to get a proper soil analysis done, so you can know the whole story.


    Food for thought....
    There IS a school of thought among some agronomists, that says conifers don't necessarily cause soil to be acidic. That theory is, that conifers are simply a species that do well in acidic soil, so they tend to grow and flourish in areas that already have (and always have had) an acidic soil.

    Get out of East Texas, and you will see no pines and the break line (especially on the south
    side) is quite dramatic and clear. I-10. With the exception of Lost Pines out near Bastrop, the Western line is just as marked, at the beginning of the Post Oak belt..

    https://texasalmanac.com/topics/environment/texas-plant-life
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  7. Nov 8, 2018
    Cindy in SD

    Cindy in SD Ridin' The Range

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    LOL I was going to collect the pine needles by raking the grass. There are lots there, though you have to look in the thatch to notice them. Raking the wooded areas for bedding is too hard, with buck brush, branches, etc.

    Good point about the cause and effect, Greybeard. But if lime would help the grass grow better still, I’m all about doing that. I’ll talk to the agent and see what he thinks. He told me earlier that our land should easily support the three Highland heifers and future calves, but we didn’t discuss soil amendments.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  8. Nov 8, 2018
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    But if your soil is already at or near neutral, adding lime will push pH farther into the alkaline range and can easily make matters worse.......and,you also have to consider that pH is in it's most basic form, a measurement of how much available hydrogen is in our soil. Lime, whether crushed limestone or powdered dolomite contains a lot of calcium and magnesium and both have an unparalleled propensity to knock hydrogen ions off.(this is a bad thing)
    You need to know what the micro-nutrient levels are as well as the pH.

    People tend to overdo their soils with lime if it is inexpensive and readily available in their area because of it's weight to volume ratio. Limestone, is HEAVY and therefore, 1 ton of limestone isn't much volume.

    A basic soil pH analysis may come back with the reccomendation to incorporate X tons per acre to raise the pH to optimum level but if (for instance) that recommendation is less than 10 tons per acre, then you really have to be careful about spreading it.
    Let's say the recommendation is 1 ton (2,000lbs) crushed limestone per acre. That may seem like a lot, but limestone weighs 2,565 lbs per cubic yard. That, if formed into a square would be only 3ft wide, 3 ft high and 3 ft long, (less volume than an average computer desk would take up) spread over 1 acre or 43,560 sq ft. That is a lot of sq footage to get that small amount of lime spread evenly.
    A 35' x 35' house covers only 1225 sq ft and a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood is only 32 sq ft, so you can see just how 'thin' or sparse the coverage would need to be for a recommended 1 ton lime/acre.
    Limestone,crushed weighs:
    2 cu yards=5,130lbs or 2.6 tons.
    3 cu yards= 7,695lbs or 3.8 tons.
    4 cu yards=10,260lbs or 5.1 tons.
    5 cu yards=12,825lbs or 6.4 tons.
    6 cu yards=15,390lbs or 7.7 tons.
    7 cu yards=17,955lbs or 8.9 tons.
    8 cu yards=20,520lbs or 10.3 tons.
    9 cu yards=23,085lbs or 11.5 tons.
    10 cu yards=25,650lbs or 12.8 tons.
    11 cu yards=28,215lbs or 14.1 tons.
    12 cu yards=30,780lbs or 15.4 tons.
    13 cu yards=33,345lbs or 16.7 tons.
    14 cu yards=35,910lbs or 17.9 tons.
    (14 cu yards is what 1 standard 2 axle dump truck can hold--but they will be limited by limestone's heavy wt-to-volume ratio as to how many cu yards they can actually haul, and limestone is usually sold by the ton anyway.).
     
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  9. Nov 10, 2018 at 8:45 PM
    Cindy in SD

    Cindy in SD Ridin' The Range

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    Wow! Thanks for that great explanation. We live way out in the sticks and have a 3/4 ton pickup and a single axle flatbed trailer... If they gave us the lime (if we need it) it’d cost big time just to get it delivered. I’ll have to get with the extension office and ask about testing soils, I suppose. How does one spread lime, then?
     
  10. Nov 11, 2018 at 10:02 AM
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Because of it's weight/ton, spreading or even hauling lime is normally not a do-it-yourself thing.
    There are usually co-ops that will do it, or at least provide a lime/fert buggy for a small fee and of course, there are companies that will spread it for you.
    Your extension agent can advise you on that, since he's in the loop in your area.
    But, this is a lime bucket or lime spreader. The spreader is driven by the little tire you see on the side which is driven by the regular tires.
    limebucket.jpg

    And they come in a variety of sizes. This one would probably hold close to a ton of crushed limestone. The feed conveyor and spinner that slings the lime can be seen on the back, and it is driven by gear and chain off the axle as the buggy is pulled along. The angled crank at the top rear is to adjust how big the opening is to drop lime down on the conveyor. Both the above pics are also used to spread pelletized fertilizer. These are usually not used to spread powdered limestone......too much waste due to the spinner being so high up..wind blows it everywhwere, even tho when a powdered lime truck spreads lime, it looks like a thich plume of white smoke is following him too.
    limebucket2.jpg

    You cannot back up with them once you have engaged to drive which only applies while you are out in the field. They are adjustable so you can spread the correct amt/acre and they will have a decal telling you how to set it and how many mph to pull it (not many....about 4mph)


    Since you have a 3/4 truck, you could conceivably rent the buggy already loaded with lime, haul it to your place and spread it if it isn't muddy or the slope of the land too steep.
    I have pulled the same size 2 axle spreader full of fertilize with a 2wd Chevy Silverado which is a 1/2 ton pickup, but I don't recommend it. That's a lot of weight for a truck as light as mine was.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018 at 10:09 AM
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