• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Pasture Renovation, Can you tell a difference after?

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,244
Reaction score
16
Location
Central Texas
I noticed something today that really shocked me. Bear with me while I try to set up and explain the story.

I bought a shank type renovator in 2004 when diesel was a lot cheaper. I used it several years when I had time and I had enough moisture to get it in the ground 4 - 5 inches. Often wondered if I was really doing any good. I could theorize and understand that scratching the surface should make moisture soak in the ground better instead of running off to the creek but just didn't know how much good came from it, especially after the $4 plus diesel of last summer.

For several years the rain situation was soaking wet or bone dry. We got by on cycles of rain for 10 days and nothing for another 30 - 40 days. Then in February of 2007 it got wet and stayed wet till latte summer when the rains went back to 7 days on and 30 days off. Then we got to May 2008 and precipitation was rare till it basically stopped raining at all in November. Well January brought us 6/10ths and February a little over 5/10ths. Now on March 12th and 13th we got our first rain of over 1 inch since Ike last September. I got 1 8/10ths and others up to 2 1/2 or more. Then this past week another 1 3/10ths. It is remarkable what good warm sunshine and moisture can do in two weeks.

Lets go back to last October, I pasture drilled oats and ball clover into some pasture hoping rains would eventually show up late fall like they have in the past. Well they didn't but we did get that 1/10th - 2/10ths every 2 - 3 weeks with several days of damp air behind. After each of these little "wet" spells you could see that green strip of oats perk up. Just amazed me how tough it is to be able to hang on like it has. Well I slung some Jumbo rye and ran the pasture renovator across this same pasture in November of 2006. Got decent grazing off of it and also cut hay off of it. Really couldn't say if renovating it did much good. I could certainly see the ripper marks because not much was growing in them.

So fast forward to today. I could see that it was greening up nicely, faster than I really expected, so I went to take a closer look. Well that oats that had disappeared 2 months ago was making a come back. Some places better than others but it was their. Then I noticed something that really surprised me. Hence the pictures.

This first picture is of the drilled oats. In this picture it is pretty weak but you can see the drill line of the oats. View attachment 1

Now as I was driving across the pasture and looking at a different angle this caught my eye.
Looks like I drilled something in but I didn't. That is the direction I ran the pasture renovator 2 1/2 years ago.
 

Jim62

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
1,094
Reaction score
0
Location
Round Top, Texas
My result was the opposite. I renovated 1/2 of a pasture just to see if I could see any difference. I used a Hay King pasture renovator, chiseling about 6" deep. When all was said and done, there was absolutely no difference that I could detect.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,244
Reaction score
16
Location
Central Texas
Jim, I couldn't tell the difference in normal rainfall years either. But this year comming off of a 20"+ rainfall deficit I can now see a difference.
 

Brute 23

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
8,763
Reaction score
62
Location
Gulf Coast of South Texas
Jim62":26v9chn3 said:
My result was the opposite. I renovated 1/2 of a pasture just to see if I could see any difference. I used a Hay King pasture renovator, chiseling about 6" deep. When all was said and done, there was absolutely no difference that I could detect.


If you have land that stays loose you will not see as much of a difference.
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
I have a six shank subsoiller that I can pull to a depth of 18 inches. You can definitely tell where I have used it and where I haven't. Not only does it allow for better water penetration it also allows for better water release from the subsoil. In my opinion, on loamy soils, your shanks must go deep enough to break the hardpan or little improvement will be seen. This is also evident in gardens or row crops as well.

BTW - when using this its best to remember where your water lines are otherwise you will be reminded in short order :oops:
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,212
Reaction score
9
Location
Central Minnesota
Jogeephus":2aive9wn said:
In my opinion, on loamy soils, your shanks must go deep enough to break the hardpan or little improvement will be seen.

What is a good way to tell where/if there is a hardpan layer?

I cut the willows off and then spring toothed some meadow during the drought last summer. Half of it flooded this spring. The other half is showing almost solid clover..
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
0
Location
South Georgia
Stocker Steve":39jzkstj said:
Jogeephus":39jzkstj said:
In my opinion, on loamy soils, your shanks must go deep enough to break the hardpan or little improvement will be seen.

What is a good way to tell where/if there is a hardpan layer?

I cut the willows off and then spring toothed some meadow during the drought last summer. Half of it flooded this spring. The other half is showing almost solid clover..

They make a tool but rather than buying one you can take a solid rod and grind a point on it and weld a handle on the rod. If its not real dry, you can press the point into the soil untile you feel some resist. If you push harder, it will break through the resistance and go on down. Pan is normally about 8 - 12 inches here.

edit: Just thought it worth mentioning, if you end up subsoiling, if possible, do this during a dry period as the pan will shatter and create cracks which allow moisture to flow both ways. Little tougher on the equipment but it will give you a bigger bang for your buck.
 

BeefmasterB

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
Location
SE TX
1982vette - It looks like those seeds just stayed there in the ground and in a dormant state until conditions were right!! The renovation undoubtedly helped!

This happened to us as well when we noticed small areas of Common Bermuda among all the weeds. I disced the area fairly well and it wasn't long until there was Common Bermuda coming up everywhere. Applied a good fertilzer after that. It's looking pretty good now. We purchased no seed -it was already there but just in a dormant state.
 

cowboy43

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2009
Messages
1,942
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
This was posted in 2009, and we have had 5 years of drought since, are you still using the renovator and with what results, do you think it is worthwhile in tight soil .
 

toughntender

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
96
Reaction score
0
Location
Southeast Wisconsin
What is everybody's soil organic matter? I wonder if the different results obtained can be linked varying OM levels. I would think that the lower the OM level the more benefit it would have. What do you all think?
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,244
Reaction score
16
Location
Central Texas
cowboy43":2ire6tc3 said:
This was posted in 2009, and we have had 5 years of drought since, are you still using the renovator and with what results, do you think it is worthwhile in tight soil .
After 6 years I doubt their is any visual effects....really haven't looked to notice. I parked it due to fuel cost and calf prices of the time and massive herd reductions. Any effects it had then aren't apparent now...it's been 6 years. Will I use it again? ..... Definitely have a profit margin that might support the idea if you are trying to get that last little bare spot to grow a blade of grass.... but I'm not operating that way anymore. I'm limiting the herd to what this piece of ground will support with as little of input as possible. I've even been practicing minimum tillage on my Winter oats and ryegrass.

On a side note....I saw one being delivered to a fellow several weeks ago.
 

Jake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
3,771
Reaction score
0
Location
North Central Kansas
1982vett":2nznxqyd said:
cowboy43":2nznxqyd said:
This was posted in 2009, and we have had 5 years of drought since, are you still using the renovator and with what results, do you think it is worthwhile in tight soil .
After 6 years I doubt their is any visual effects....really haven't looked to notice. I parked it due to fuel cost and calf prices of the time and massive herd reductions. Any effects it had then aren't apparent now...it's been 6 years. Will I use it again? ..... Definitely have a profit margin that might support the idea if you are trying to get that last little bare spot to grow a blade of grass.... but I'm not operating that way anymore. I'm limiting the herd to what this piece of ground will support with as little of input as possible. I've even been practicing minimum tillage on my Winter oats and ryegrass.

On a side note....I saw one being delivered to a fellow several weeks ago.

Your country is much different than ours but we have gone to almost completely no till on the farm ground and try our best to leave residue in the pasture. This seems to do more for moisture retention than anything else. If I could I would sell all of our tillage equipment as all it does is make you lose top soil and moisture.
 

Brute 23

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
8,763
Reaction score
62
Location
Gulf Coast of South Texas
We have to open ground up. It will lock up and start choking out grass. We disked a hay field under that is Johnson Grass mix and you can see how much water it catches. Its soaks in 10X better than before. Plus it replants a lot of your Bermuda's and seed grasses.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,212
Reaction score
9
Location
Central Minnesota
toughntender":nqs995h1 said:
What is everybody's soil organic matter? I wonder if the different results obtained can be linked varying OM levels. I would think that the lower the OM level the more benefit it would have. What do you all think?

Row cropped ground is 1.7 to 2.0% OM.
Rotated ground is 2.0 to 2.4% OM.
Intensive grazed ground is up to 4.0 to 6.0% OM. Need to have cattle do most of the renovation work. :nod:
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
57
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
Renovate every year, and I have the best pastures around.
Neighbor started last year and you could see the difference the first year.
Seen him last weekend doing a pasture.
I am a grass farmer.
 

wbvs58

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
5,197
Reaction score
30
Location
S.E. Queensland, Australia
I have a program where I do a couple of my paddocks every year and all paddocks have been done at least twice now. I use a Keyline plow and it goes down 10-12" and causes minimal surface disturbance. It is hard to say whether improvement in my place is from this or the rotational grazing or a regular fertiliser program but I suspect it is a bit of all the above. When I first bought the place and we had good summer rain I would wonder why my place did not respond like the neighbours. Now when we get rain I drive down the road and can't find any place that looks better than mine.
I rip the place in the pattern similar to Keyline principles and it is very effective at evenly distributing the rainfall. All my rain goes into the ground now even to the point that I don't get much in my dams now until the ground reaches the point of saturation. This is what I prefer as I always have plenty of stored water and the pasture can make the most use of the water.
Ken
 

lavacarancher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
1,960
Reaction score
0
Location
Lavaca county, Texas
Renovation is right up there with receiving enough moisture IMO. You need to break up the soil. Soil compaction will stop grass growth quickly and running a renovator or even a disc over the field will help break up the soil.
 

Caustic Burno

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
25,794
Reaction score
57
Location
Big Thicket East Texas
lavacarancher":2fbdtxv0 said:
Renovation is right up there with receiving enough moisture IMO. You need to break up the soil. Soil compaction will stop grass growth quickly and running a renovator or even a disc over the field will help break up the soil.

And it doesn't take a lot of cows to pack a whole bunch of acres.
 
Top