Waste or mistakes never happen in a farm kitchen.....only future animal or plant food.

October 11, 2012

Drought Recovery

Before and after...2 strands of 12.5 gauge electric make all the difference.
Close up of already grazed paddock
This past summer was the worst drought I have ever experienced.  Everything was crisp come August with no end in sight.  The yet to be grazed grass was simply taller and brown vs. short and crunchy.  Learning from my experiences from a previous (yet mild in comparison) drought, we secured an extra load of hay and pulled the animals off pasture.

We also felled small diameter trees for supplementation, winter's heat and to open up too crowded canopies.  Crooked trees aren't pretty, are useless for lumber, and are more likely to land on my fence in a wind storm. They burn just fine and are just as tasty as straight ones to the goats and cows.

Thank you Lord for the rain!  We've been able to slowly bring sections back into the grazing plan.

The pictures above are from today...2 weeks after the animals were pulled off from this particular section.  You can see the difference in length in the 2 sections....and the density.  I was shocked actually.  I have been checking this paddock's progress almost daily...but from the side.  I have never seen such a weak stand....on my land.  The grass has grown back to 6-7 inches, but it's so thin.  I was reminded that a pasture walk is essential for good grass management and that means actually walking IN the pasture, not just looking at it.

Bottom land soil
This is a picture of a different section.  This is the difference in upland soil vs bottom land soil and previous grass management. This is todays food on the left and yesterday's food on the right.  The already grazed section is still significantly denser than the other paddock.  We have been subdividing and RESTING this paddock for a few years now.  Each year we are able to graze  more "cow days" off of it than previous seasons.  The other paddock is newly created in comparison and used to more of a continuous grazing pattern.  This paddock is a little over 2 acres and used to do about 3 days at a time, 2 to 3 times per year.  We just got 2 weeks off of it after 2 previous rotations this season, drought included.  If the weather cooperates, I might get one more...or early grazing come next year.

By the way, the bottom land paddock USED to look like the upland paddock close up years ago, but not as much grass and a lot more weeds. I didn't plant anything, just changed it's management.

Barn Hop 
Simple Lives Thursday

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