Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pasture Crawling?

If you follow rotational grazing, or, mangement intensive grazing, you know that pasture walking is an important aspect of your management.  It is important to get a look and feel of the condition of your pastures, to see bald spots or other damage that needs repair.  Or to find holes that might need filled.  Most importantly, you can get a feel for the condition of the soil, based on the life on the surface.  We have been working on this soil, here, for several years now.

Today, I did a pasture crawl.  Yup, you heard me right, I got down on my hands and knees and crawled around on the ground.  No, my eye sight isn't so bad, yet, but I did want a closer look at some legumes and I just stayed down there.

I am excited as we have legumes, clover and Korean Lespedeza, growing, voluntarily, in our pastures.  These two legumes are spotty, but there none the less.  This is good news.  Legumes are nitrogen fixers.  They capture the N in the air and transfer it to the soil, which makes for healthier grass.  Grass need N to grow at all.

This is something that I have not been very pro-active about planting.  Not because I didn't want to, but, because I just haven't, for what ever reason.  I did throw down some seed a few years ago, but never saw anything from it.  I grazed it way too soon after soing that it was probably eaten before it got established.

I have written before about inadvertant planting, and I think this is how the clover and lespedeza got there.  When I feed hay, I scatter it in different places, trying not to feed in the same place twice.  There are seed in the hay and the cows, with their magnificent hooves, plant the seed for me.  It is quite wonderful to watch God's creation do what it is supposed to do.

While down on my knees, I tried a clover leaf.  The first taste seemed good, but then there was the after taste.  I'm glad cows like it, I didn't think too highly of it.  I will stick to eating it in the form of meat and milk.  It tastes much better that way.

Leave some comments sharing what you discover on your pasture walks, or, crawls, as it were.

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