2015 Spring Annual Pasture

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2015 Spring Annual Pasture

Post by Bio Farmer on Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:14 am

Near our shop we have a little 3 acre piece that is very inconvenient to farm in our row crop rotation so we took the opportunity to plant a spring cover crop with the intent on grazing it a few times during the summer and see how we could influence soil health.

After preparing the ground (light tillage) in late March we drilled the cover mix with our old grain drill then corrugated it and hoped for the best. By sheer bad luck it turned out to be a dry spring so many plants did not even germinate until we were able to irrigate it mid-April. Our seed mix was forage radish, forage brassica, Japanese millet, crimson clover, plantain, and chicory. I won't even pretend to remember the rates on this one.

The delayed germination certainly limited early growth but things finally got established. The crop was looking a bit yellow so we spread about 50 units of urea on it shortly after this photo which really promoted growth.

A couple irrigations and a month later we had a nice little pasture forming. As I said our original intent was to offer this to a neighbor for grazing. Given the size of the plot and the availability of other forage our cattleman decided it wasn't worth the effort to bring in cows.

The crimson clover was blooming heavily by this time so we turned our mechanical cow out on the pasture to prevent seeds being formed.

It may not have been our original plan but no doubt we still saw some great benefits from the crimson clover, diverse species, and green manure results. Soon after termination we seeded this to another mix of cover crop with the goal being fall grazing and no-till corn the next spring.

Bio Farmer

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