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MIG

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SANDTRAP

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i've read lots of information on mig and the benefits, such as improving the soil, grass and so on.
it makes sense but i've read claims where you can increase you stocking rates from 100-300%
so i wanted to get some opinions from real people that are actully doing it.
have you been able to increase your stocking rate?
if so how much ?

thanks in advance
 

hayray

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I couldn't tell you by how much but I can tell you it is for sure worth the time and labor if you can do it. It is pretty much a no brainer in comparison to a completely no management grazing system.
 
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SANDTRAP

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i'm sure it is better but i would like to figure whether the the added stocking rate is worth the added cost of fencing water and etc.
 

dun

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SANDTRAP":3ukxwbh7 said:
i'm sure it is better but i would like to figure whether the the added stocking rate is worth the added cost of fencing water and etc.

Too many variables to really have a hard and fast percentage. Use temporary hot wire for the fencing, the stuff will last for years and isn;t all that expensive. Water is the most expensive part but a lot of that can be addressed with plypipe just alyed on the gorundf to get water to some areas. The biggest advantage to MIG is the ability to stockpile forage, in areas that stockpiling is possible. It decreases the need for bought in feeds and allows you to be self sufficient and provides feed resources for 12 months a year.
 
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SANDTRAP

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for me i will have to increase my stocking rate by atleast 50% in order to make it worth the added time and money spent.
50% seems to me like an unrealistic number, but i hear claims of 300%. (from experts in magazines)
i would still like to hear from the average joe and get some real numbers
 

Hoosier Pete

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The best thing I like about MiG is that you can see your feed supply out ahead of you and if you use a cow day measurement instead of just stocking rate you can get an accurate picture of where you really are as far as your feed resources. Kind of like counting the number of bales you have in the barn. Try it, you'll like it!!!
 
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SANDTRAP

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i'm thinking i might give it a try.
my biggest obstacle is nov-feb. due to most of my grass being lovegrass and when it freezes and goes dormant the cows don't really eat it well (gets tough)
all my ground is pasture so sowing wheat/oats is not an option and broadcasting ryegrass and etc doesn't work here due to the dry winter months.
so that puts me back to buying hay.
i need a cool season pasture grass that grows in the desert :lol:
 

Stocker Steve

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SANDTRAP":i7gi5hgx said:
for me i will have to increase my stocking rate by atleast 50% in order to make it worth the added time and money spent.
50% seems to me like an unrealistic number, but i hear claims of 300%. (from experts in magazines)
i would still like to hear from the average joe and get some real numbers

I lease one place that continuously grazed 28 yearling heifers the summer before I got it. No fertilizer, no cross fence, no clipping, no spraying... The renter drove by once in a while and threw a white salt block over the fence.
After three years, some single strand hi tensile, 40# of N per year, some clover seed, some spot spraying, and a lot of supplement - - I was up to 142 stockers on the same place. I think that pounds up to well over 300%, but that rate was on the high side of optimal even though corn and N were still cheap that year.
250% is doable for an average midwest Steve if you stick with it for a couple years (and it rains) . Stocking rates all go to zero if it gets dry enough. Sounds like I may be 50% away from being an expert! :banana:
I think the high stocking rate questions for a profit minded person are:
1) try to rent more ground?
2) provide more inputs and management while praying for rain?
3) or put the (some of) the money in the bank, buy the wife a new gun, and go hunting?
 

tlmcr

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Sandtrap:

I am your average Joe. I went from a 2 pasture rotation and with hot wire cross fence I made 6 paddocks. I ran 35 pairs and with 2 pastures in 2006 and 2007 was out of grass and feeding purchsed hay by August. In 2008 with 6 paddocks, I got a hay cutting of 3 paddocks and was able to graze all the way until mid December. I am looking at trying to expand to 8 paddocks by 2010. It has worked for me.
 

mobgrazer

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I change padlocks every day and some times a few times a day. Right now I have my cows split into 3 groups. I made a trailer that holds there minerals, salt, and water that I drag into the next padlock and the cows follow.

The downfalls of mob grazing that I have run into on my land were compaction issues and a layer of rich top soil that needs help to get worked into the clay, but it did not hard pan on me. The compaction issues go away after my soil improved. All my pastures were a gritty red clay soil that the old owners and used up most of the nurturance.

The pluses are the fast composting layer left when the cows get moved. They pass about 80% of the nurturance back out that they eat. They do not know what a weed is. There manure is pre spread and not under some trees or at there water. Calm cows that don’t care if you walk right up to them and most will let you pet them. You right up with the cows daily so you notice when something is different or wrong.
 
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SANDTRAP

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my soil in west tx is dry sandy soil with very low organic matter and i'm hoping that mig/mob grazing will improve that and doing so it should grow more grass.
what is the optimal size paddock for forage utilzation, manure spreading and etc. ?
do you try and keep the paddocks grazed down or do you let it grow up tall and rank ?
 

mobgrazer

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Start with what they will eat in about 40 hours and move them after 24. Once you’re able to judge the amount of eatable vegetation then lower the size of the padlock. Part of the grass will be trampled and you will think it was a waist but it’s not that bad. There is a yard stick that is used for judging editable vegetation by the acre but I don’t know what there called.

It will take time for them to get to the point of it’s editable I’m eating it weed or not before I take another step. After a few weeks depending on how you and your cows adjust try for 75% to 90% eaten. Remember you need to watch what type of grass you have and how short they eat it or you will get a slow regrowth and the sand will wear out there teeth.


Depending on the type of vegetation I let it grow 18 to 24” high. I use the term vegetation loosely because a lot of weeds are just as good as grass. I do have fields get out of control and will bail them to feed back on the cold wet winter days with some alfalfa in there next padlock.



There are too many variables between us. Talk to you local Ag office about “mob graving”, “rotational grazing”, and “MIG” and they should have better info for your neck of the woods (or sand for you). Ask if they can get you in touch with someone close to you that practices something like this. There are a lot of workshops and classes out that way.

Go googleing and you will find some info.
 

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