An Attempt To Revise Pasture Walks

Well, I couldn’t find the “auto-saved” version of the Pasture Walks post, so I’m going to attempt to list a couple things I remember adding.

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My Bovine Girls on a Pasture Walk of their own!  They come running when ever I enter the pasture.  I do love my girls!  The feelings are mutual!

I was a little ticked that there wasn’t a disclaimer at the Pasture Walk when I signed in with my name, address and phone because when I got home and read some of the literature, this is what I found. “Conservation plans in most counties are voluntary, however if a landowner participates in USDA sponsored programs, an approved conservation plan may be required.” GREAT! Maybe they will forget me if I don’t go back for more pristine pasture walks!

The article titled Farming for Health in Acres USA, said, “There are those, including some consultants (might I add Soil Experts!), who do not understand what the sap/juice brix reading means or how to feed a crop to get brix to increase. They tend to believe that the soil test prevails over all else and seek to find the perfect soil test report. As a result they cannot seem to grasp the brix principles.” Aaha, I did step on the “Soil Experts” toes or rather his entire foot! No wonder he was offended that I asked about Brix.

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Acres USA goes on to say, “Only plants take in carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll and sunlight to manufacture sugar.” Everything that a farmer harvests comes from this sugar! It’s basic elementary botany!  That even I am beginning to comprehend!

It was quite obvious that I wasn’t with kindred spirits on this walk. No one there except the older “Soil Expert” had ever heard of brix. Neither did most of them care what it was. There was one lady that I’d been chatting with and she did say, “I learn something new every time I come on one of these Pasture Walks”. But I’m afraid it fell on deaf ears.  I would think that even horse owners would want to create high brix grass.  The more nutrients an animal gets from the grass they eat, the healthier they will be.  Granted a horse is not a rumanent animal.  A cow has to graze on grass or hay 24 hrs a day!  They graze and they rest.  They graze and they rest, all day long.  My girls ancestors were chased by predators and so they will graze ravenously filling their rumen and then they will go some place safe and rest, bringing up their cud working on good digestion.  They do this 24/7!  They truly are amazing animals.  All the while making delicious, nutritious milk from grass!  Wow!  That’s why I care about brix.

It’s reported that researchers at MI State U, in the early 60’s demonstrated that foliar applications for nutrients are up to 10 times as efficient as soil applications pound for pound. Why on earth (no pun intended!) would I spread 1 ton of lime per acre (as one of the horse lovers at the walk did) when I could spray my pasture crop with a sea mineral and reap greater benefits by raising my brix? I’m still trying to figure it all out, and I’m so glad that Acres USA is available to this green horn! (I can’t even figure out how I’d get 1 ton of lime! I sure can’t get it in my mini van or Honey’s little Ford Ranger! That would be at least 3 tons that I’d need!) I am adding nutrients to my soil though. I feed my bovine girls kelp every day. They love the stuff and they kindly deposit it all over my pasture for me. When I mow I sorta spread it around, but not too much since cows are very picky about eating anything that’s been touched by their poop. My pasture is now christened with beautiful lush green mounds of grass where the girls have left their poop. And they won’t eat it for 3 years! My pasture is going to be beautiful in 3 years.

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Cow Pie crusting over and drying out

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This is the area that Joy has over grazed because she was tethered here at night. She’s roaming free on the range now! Happy Cows!  You can see the mounds of green grass that were fertilized with cow poo.  But they pass those up.

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Notice the deer in the background….they stay out of the fenced in pasture for the most part. A little fawn will wonder in once in a while, but they haven’t been a problem for me. For the most part my pasture is looking pretty good with a diversity of grasses. I’m trying to device a plan to work in rotational pasture management and possibly use strip grazing next year. That will allow them to graze an area for a day, a week or what ever I think works best. When I think they’ve grazed it sufficiently, but not over grazed it, then I’ll close it off with electric and move them to the next pasture. After I’ve rotated them around to all the areas, then it’s back to the original area and we’ll start all over again.  I suppose there should be a sacrifice pasture that they can use and eat hay until the others are in the proper shape to move them back to.

So much to think about.

Happy Trails to you until we meet again!

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