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 Pasture progress on a morning tour

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Grassfarmer



Posts : 850
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:09 pm

With apologies to those of you suffering drought I'd like to share some pictures of our pasture season. This is my favourite time of year, when we can asses the progress we've made and apply the management that influences how long our grass resource will sustain the cattle. We have been lucky and had enough moisture to get by - 3.5 inches in June grows a lot of grass in this country. If it warms up and dries up like it normally does through July-August we'll be limited in regrowth potential as we are still moisture deficient.

The old and the new - cows grazing around an old abandoned house


....and a posh looking disguise for a gas compressor station


"Just a cow" by the old house


A fine stand of Kura clover that we seeded on a pipeline right of way a decade ago. Took a while but eventually it establishes and takes over.


Big leafed stuff


Another tasty steer for Botheel - straight Luing steers of this type are easy to fatten on grass. 13 months old.


Pasture in recovery mode I think - dandelions and a profusion of peavine and American vetch coming in where there was mainly overgrazed bluegrass, fescue and bare patches before.








Some cows awaiting a mooove


I really can't claim I treat them tough this time of year


Apart from the naturally supplied legumes we add alsike clover to the cow minerals to good effect. It puzzles me a little how well the legumes are doing while the grasses struggle to recover. In my past experience grass was easy to grow but legumes were the icing on the cake and only prospered if you were doing everything else right. I'm guessing this land is so fertility starved that the legumes manage because they can fix enough N to keep themselves growing even if they don't yet produce enough to help the adjoining grasses.


A sign of how slow our nutrients cycle - 2 year old manure that hasn't broken down - see the little clover plants coming from the seed though?


As bad as it gets - straight strawberry patch on some drier, more depleted land. Next stage in regression is lichen.


But even here we are seeing an encouraging invasion of vetch on the fringes of a patch


A little butterfly that fluttered by


As Travis Tritt sings "It's a great day to be alive" cheers

Now off to figure out why there is a black burned patch on my camera lens Sad



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PostSubject: Re: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:46 pm

That is what April usually looks like around here. This time it was March. Only fitting that June would look like August. Maybe July will be September. I'm confused, what day is it.


Looking good, be it au' natural or faux natural, or neutral or indifferent, but to ascend into assessing asses of assets, makes an ass of u and me when assuming what is assumed by Botheel's or Brotheels.

Booheel


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LCP



Posts : 70
Join date : 2012-04-16
Location : north central SD

PostSubject: Re: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:52 pm

Could you tell us more about adding the clover to the mineral? How much do you put in? Do you buy hard seed, or doesn't it matter? Why alsike clover? I've been thinking about doing the same thing at our place, since our pastures are too rocky and rough to drill anything. We were thinking falcata alfalfa (yellow flowers) but its sorta expensive. That is pretty cool, seeing those little sprouts coming up right out of the pile!
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 850
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:40 pm

Sorry Bootheel that was a typo.

LCP, The clover seeding has been very successful for us, we've used alsike mainly because it grows really well in our area. Also used red clover and last year tried yellow sweet clover for the first time. Not seen any evidence of it yet. Tried Cicer Milk Vetch and it was a failure. Not sure if alfalfa would do as I have no experience of it. Nothing real scientific with the seeding rate I probably add about half a coffee mug every time I mix up salt/mineral for 40 cows or so. Doing this every green season has reseeded much of the place with clover and it probably hasn't cost more than $200/year. Very economical way to seed clover as the seed is fairly cheap and alsike runs 700,000 seeds per pound. Alfalfa only 200,000 so it must have bigger seeds. You just use regular clover seed, don't need hard seed and it comes through the cow fine.
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 850
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:25 pm

Well 3 months on and our summer is done, supposed to be some snow flying next week. We have had a beautiful, settled dry fall that has made harvest easier for the grain farmers.

A crazy pink setting sun we had recently.




A bunch of Deere in the neighbours barley watching the sunrise


Sunrise on the mist this morning








Some more trees for Luke to look at:)




Misty morning in the oil patch


Fraccing our future away - on a pasture I rent. Big job as there are two one mile directional bores. Pumping water in through irrigation pipes from a lake a couple of miles away.
Bye bye water Evil or Very Mad


the temp holding tank they constructed gives an idea of the volume they use. Said to be a million gallons per well, washed down into mother earth with 20 tons of toxic chemicals. affraid affraid


These guys know about preserving water.


Ready for winter


scenic but a P.I.A to fence or keep cows where you want them


Fall colors over what's going to be my daughters first heifer


Different bunch coming to water.


Get a kick out of this sorry looking inbred that's part of my lease cow group.


A little bit of an outcross produced this heifer from her



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PostSubject: Re: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:11 pm

Thanks for the share Ian. I have never saw anything that green This time of yr. What time of yr do you mix the seed in the salt and mineral? That makes a lot of sense to scatter seed that way. Would that work with grass seed or would the digestion process be to efficent? Lots of questions on the grass jus t too many for this page.
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 850
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Pasture progress on a morning tour   Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:32 am

Yeah, we stay pretty green - until it all turns white anyway. We have meadow brome pasture that is as green as that hay regrowth in the oil well picture. The quack grass and smooth brome go brown earlier. We just never get the heat to produce the real brown pastures in summer - we are in a really good little grass growing microclimate in this valley. We usually add seed all the time we are feeding loose mineral/salt on pasture and the manure is reasonably soft. If the manure is piled up and hard the seed will germinate but then die for lack of water. I usually drop the cows onto trace mineral salt blocks when we pull bulls so the usual salt seeding season is May-September. My cows just eat so much loose salt/mineral through the summer it gets to be expensive - I suppose due to the high water content/volume of grass they eat. Ran about 3-4 cents a day this summer and that's with cheap $17 a bag mineral and $3.50 salt. When we winter graze or feed silage in winter they typically consume about 1 cent/day of the TM blocks.
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