Saturday, October 24, 2009

Grazing Trial

In early September, we planted triticale (a rye-wheat hybrid) and ryegrass in a small plot at one of our leased properties. To plant the seed, we broadcast it onto the ground and then fed 150 sheep and goats over it. We had the equivalent of 240 cows per acre on the site for a day and a half - they trampled the seed in very effectively.

After planting, our local farm advisor irrigated the plot diligently - in a week, we had newly sprouting grass. The rains over the last two weeks were perfectly timed.

Today - about 7weeks after we planted the seed - we put 90 head of sheep on the plot for 2 hours. Before turning the sheep in, we clipped to sample one-foot squares to determine the amount of feed on the site - I'm guessing we had close to 2 tons of grass per acre. It was beautiful! At a time of year when feed is generally in short supply, we successfully planted a pasture using nothing but livestock, a broadcast seeder, and electric fence. Pretty cool!

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