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Any zero till/regenerative ag experts?

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Rydero

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Wondering if what you're doing is harvesting by grazing every year, if you've considered trying to move toward a base of more perennials, and then "interseed" some annuals as a fill in if you feel you feel you need them?

Absolutely I intend to go to perennials and move on to other areas when the soil is ready. The soil is pretty deficient of nutrients and water doesn't infiltrate water very well - I'm hoping the cover crops and manure help. I have the next couple hundred acres - maybe more that need the same treatment picked out already. A life's work!
 

ClinchValley86

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what you're doing looks great. If you can get away from chemical sprays and fertilizers you'll be doing the regenerative thing, and managing you're grazing to really do thr most good.

Soil organisms will do all the work if we let them. By that I mean leave them alone. Just a matter of learning and applying in practice. Sprays and nitrogen fertilizers are hell on soil to my understanding.
 

Stocker Steve

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One year of cc mix is good for developing a mellow seed bed and increasing nutrient availability. Two years is much better.

Year 1) This is usually land we have bale grazed on. We make one or two grazings of volunteer annuals and quack grass, hit it with round up, and then no till a SS heavy cc mix in late June or early July. The stand is not perfect due to bale residue, but SS will grow and fill in most spots when cool season plants will not. Broadcast lime in the fall.

Year 2) Make a tillage pass and then come back with either soybeans or another CC mix. We have been getting 40 to 50 bu beans w/o chemical fertilizer.

Year 3) Make a tillage pass and then under seed perennials. Either combine barley, or wet bale oats, to minimize perennial competition.

Totally no till is a great goal for specialized high OM dirt farmers - - but I have residue breakdown, lime incorporation, and hoof compaction to address before re seeding perennials. You will benefit from some tillage on a stock farm.
 
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Rydero

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what you're doing looks great. If you can get away from chemical sprays and fertilizers you'll be doing the regenerative thing, and managing you're grazing to really do thr most good.

Soil organisms will do all the work if we let them. By that I mean leave them alone. Just a matter of learning and applying in practice. Sprays and nitrogen fertilizers are hell on soil to my understanding.
I'm definitely going to experiment with no spray or inputs - the crop in the pics is no fertilizer, low nutrient, low OM land. If I can grow a crop like that most of the time I'll be happy. The initial year it'd be extremely hard to skip the roundup. I always zero till outside the spray area to compare (because I don't want to spray) and I've never had an acceptable catch past the spray area even when I suppress with over grazing. I reason it out that I have to do one bad thing to make doing a bunch of good work. Net positive I hope.
 

ClinchValley86

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Gotta do what we have to do. I have never used a drill. I broadcast and drag. But dont have a lot of experience doing that.

What you have there looks great. Keep it up. Im sure you know of Gabe Brown. Even he uses glyphosate from time to time. Is my understanding.
 
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Rydero

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Thanks Steve for sharing some of your methods. I simply don't have time to till as many acres as I seed and work out but I'm always interested in what's working for someone in case what I'm doing doesn't work and I need to change it up.
 
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Rydero

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Gotta do what we have to do. I have never used a drill. I broadcast and drag. But dont have a lot of experience doing that.

What you have there looks great. Keep it up. Im sure you know of Gabe Brown. Even he uses glyphosate from time to time. Is my understanding.
Just read his book. Enjoy that he's honest about that. I asked a guy giving a talk about regenerative ag after he showed pics of an impressive crop that he broadcast and used cattle hooves to seed on land that grew canola the year before how to go from pasture to that - he didn't answer....idk if he didn't have one or just didn't want to give it.
 

Muletrack

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Very good thread. I'm in the same boat trying to get started on a regenerative plan. Luckily our county SCS has a JD 1590 disc drill available to use at $10/acre. After reading Gabe Brown's book, "Dirt to Soil," it's impossible not to get excited about regenerative agriculture. Also am a big fan of Greg Judy on YouTube, and will have a look at his book, "Comeback Farms," as well. but it's a little spendy on Amazon at $35. There is not much information around from other sources on converting old cropland back to animal agriculture (almost nothing from the universities).
 

Muletrack

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A fella loaned me another good book on the subject, one with a world-wide perspective, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's called, "Growing a Fevolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life," by David R. Montgomery.

 

ClinchValley86

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Adaptive grazing, regenerative grazing, holistic grazing, planned grazing, mob graxing, management intensive grazing, etc all mean the same thing to me. I researched everything I could on those topics. It all comes down to giving ground plenty of rest. Grazing a given amount of ground for a short duration of time and moving off. Move animals no less than every 3 days. And let rest according to the season. At least 3 or 4 weeks. You'll be amazed.
 

shaz

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One the thing the regenerative ag movement is doing is proving that ruminants are crucial to carbon sequestration. But, if you check out all the you tube videos on the subject there are very few views. It doesn't have traction....yet.
 
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Rydero

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One year of cc mix is good for developing a mellow seed bed and increasing nutrient availability. Two years is much better.

Year 1) This is usually land we have bale grazed on. We make one or two grazings of volunteer annuals and quack grass, hit it with round up, and then no till a SS heavy cc mix in late June or early July.
I'm curious why you time it for late June or early July? Does the SS do better that way? Is it about were suppression? Something else?
 

Stocker Steve

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Double crop:
- Our soil is not warm enough for seeding warm season - - SS or pearl millet - - until some time in June, and cool season stuff is still growing well, so no rush.

Triple crop:
- SS is usually a one and done harvest here since our nights get cool after mid August, so you can run the drill thru it again (after grazing) with a cool season mix, if you have moisture and really like to plant.

* Hard to make CC profitable unless you graze it. Hard to get much grazing utilization unless you are planful with seed mix design and planting date(s). One thing I have noticed is you get much higher grazing utilization with standard SS if you do not let it grow > 50 days and get stemmy. Then when the remaining part of the stems are killed by the frost - - cattle are willing to graze them again. Sweeter? Tender?
 
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Allenw

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You can't plant ss until June and I'm wondering how late into August I can plant ss. Adding some rye and oats along with hairy vetch and Austrian winter peas for grazing cows after the sorghum freezes. Keeping something growing through the winterAnd building some nitrogen.

I think I could do this as late as the first of September here. It will have to be close to that for the rye or oats to make it.
 
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Rydero

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I'll let them walk across a quarter for water but I can't have them walking across roads for it. I also use electric but not for as a perimeter fence. Rome wasn't built in a day, lol. Most of my acres get grazed, I'm getting there.
 
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