Friday, June 19, 2009

About our mob grazing program

We are currently utilizing mob grazing on only one piece of property, a 1700 acre ranch in SW Missouri that we have been leasing for a few years now. My land owner is a fantastic person that is dedicated to conservation practices and building habitat for quail, turkey and deer. That said, he has been very dubious about our move to mob grazing and on more than one occasion has expressed his (extreme)displeasure with the way a pasture looks (most notably the one in the picture) after a rain or excessive trampling by the stockers. I have preached patience. I got to see first hand early this spring when our 800 head of stockers got bunched in a corner during a spring squall and devestated a small patch of ground. Four weeks later you couldn't find the spot and the grass was dark green, thick and lush all over that particular actually looked a little better than other pastures that didn't get severely trampled during a storm. So I told him to give it a few weeks...sure enough, three weeks later that pasture looks can't see where the temporary fence was and the regrowth has been amazing.

Our current program involves stocking at around 65,000# of cattle per acre (approx 10 acre cells), moving daily, and rest of at least 60 days. We are planning on merchandising all of our cattle by the middle of July and allowing the entire ranch to rest until Feb of 2010. We will be weighing the cattle on Sunday (June 21st) to determine how they have gained in the first 100 days....I think we've done ok but would be lying if I didn't say that I'm a little worried about what the weights will look like. We've supplemented with 2.5 pounds of ddg per day and they've been grazing exceptional ladino/fescue/mixed grass pastures (it's been a fantastic year for clover, some pastures are 60-70 percent ladino clover...we planted 1.4# of Durana on the entire ranch between 2 years ago and last year). We'll know more Sunday.

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