Friday, September 26, 2008

Quite a Pasture...

For various reasons (some of which you know about if you follow the blog) I haven't been able to do as much work on the farm as I would have liked so far, but today I was pondering one of the encouraging things. You may remember that I had planned to have the cattle on the farm by now grazing down the pasture and such, but building has taken the front row seat for the time being and the pastures will just have to wait. There is hope for our pastures that have been in the Conservation Reserve Program for the last 14 years though.

There are a very few areas that I have mowed this summer (I'm talking about a total of three times of mowing), but one of them is east of the garden next to the water hydrant. In that area there is a decent amount of red clover that has come up on it's own just because it has been able to compete with the other grasses when they were shorter. This does give me hope for the rest of the pastures and confirms something that I have read in Gene Logsdon's books that clover and bluegrass will grow if you keep an area clipped and they are able to compete.

Now, I think is a good time to start making plans for what my pastures will be like next year. Do you have any suggestions?

1 comment:

Rich said...

Have you done any soil tests? The fact that red clover is growing in your pastures is a good sign that your soil pH levels are about right (clover needs about a pH around 6.0 to 7.0).

I've always read that the only thing you should plant in the first few years of implementing a grazing system is fence posts (subdividing pastures into paddocks). Managed grazing will allow the existing grass to express its potential easier than trying to establish some new, supposedly improved forage.

Aren't you going to need some sort of watering system for your cattle before you can start thinking about improving forages and paddock layouts?

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