Thursday, March 25, 2010
Comeback Farms :: Chapters 4-6 Book Report
In chapter four Greg Judy talks a lot about the importance of using purchased hay to rebuild your pastures. He uses a bale un-roller that he pulls behind his truck to spread out the hay and the nutrients (along with seeds). There is also a good picture and a nice description of us bale un-roller in this chapter ... if I was handy it looks like it would be pretty easy to build. I'm still trying to wrap my mind the whole bale un-rolling process and how it would work in the winter and the muddy times on our farm, but I do love the idea. Another thing I have questions about is if there is much hay wasted on the ground ... although I'm guessing Mr. Judy has enough cattle to clean up quite a bit each day instead of just laying down on it. One last thing from this chapter ... I sure wish I could by grass hay for $15-20 a bale like he mentions! Grass hay around here is $45 (for pretty bad stuff) and up. Of course all hay is at a premium this year because of the weather.
I can sum up chapter five in just a few words. When there is a drought don't graze your grass to the ground. In Mr. Judy's words, "Resist Opening Gates During Drought" (that is the chapter title). This is a reminder that I've seen in quite a few places and I think it is sinking in for me. Hopefully we don't have a drought any time soon and hopefully if we do I remember the good advice! The problem with opening the gates he writes is that you are giving up on your grass and hurting it not just for that season, but in the future as well.
Controlled burning is the topic of the sixth chapter and I have to admit that this is something I will probably never mess with. We don't have a lot of acreage right now, our house is in the middle of it, and there is plenty of conflicting opinions out there on the merits of controlled burning. Mr. Judy has burned in the past, but he writes that he has changed his mind recently because of the harm that it can do above ground and below ground. I guess burning can damage the roots all the way down to three feet.
If you read this book (and I think you should) you will find that Mr. Judy shares a lot of stories throughout. I love that personal touch because it makes him seem like a grazing human instead of a grazing superman! Although he is light years ahead of me he still is learning and making mistakes.