Banjo wrote:I'll have to say that is the first time I have heard that argument. The hay taking off I can understand a little bit, but never heard of livestock walking it off. On the surface it seems plausible, but they say....people in the know...universties etc. that livestock return a high % of their nutrient intake back thru the manure and urine.
Overgrazing!!!!! is what destroys pasture and I have done my share of it over the years. Pulse grazing and then letting the pasture rest/recover for a certain length of time is what builds organic matter/and carbon in the soil.
What did farmers do for the thousands of years before water soluble ferilizers came along?
Question for anyone who wants to answer it: If a plants roots has as much mass below ground as above ground what have you lost? Nothing. When that same plants roots die back/pruned after being grazed and start growing back again what have you gained? Organic matter from the old roots. What happens when that cow can continually go back over that short 2 or 3 inch grass? It will have a shallow root system to match the top, which is very vulnerable to dry weather.
I don't know everything, but this much I know.
Tell you what. Stock your land to normal capacity. Don't feed anything, don't add mineral, don't bring in any hay that hasn't been cut off the same land, and don't fertilize. Them sell all your calf
Crop, or whatever bovine product you sell.
Do that for 10 years and tell us your overall production numbers for 10 years running.
I'd bet youre bottom line drops very year
What is "Normal" stocking rate. Agmantoo says that he runs 1 cow and calf to 1.4 ac. with IRG.....thats pretty good
Most continuous grazing systems are probably 1 cow and calf to 2 to 3 ac or more depending on what part of the country you are in.
But I do plan on adding about 20 heifers that I have raised to the total herd and maybe that many more in 2 or 3 years. When cattle can roam from one end of the farm to the other any time they want, it doesn't seem to matter how many ac/hd. you have when it doesn't rain for a few weeks. The best thing I have ever done on the farm was start rotational grazing. Healthy soil= Healthy grass= Healthy cattle.
But like I said before I haven't used commercial fertilize in 6 years and the soil tests show that the soil isn't any better or worse now than it was then. My Ph is in the mid 6's range that kind of surprised me because my soil isn't deep rich soil like bottomland. If I was mining my soil wouldn't a soil test show it getting worse and worse.
In 2007 and '08 we had a pretty severe drought here and I had to buy some hay but I was continuous grazing then also but haven't had to buy any hay since then.
I plan on phasing out my haymaking over the next 2 or 3 years. If I can't graze year round, then I will buy my hay.
Trying to keep this equipment running is way too stressful. I only feed those 100 cows about 200 - 250 rolls thru the winter. So you will have to check back with me in about 4 more years and I'll give you an update.
By the way you didn't answer my questions above in my last posts.