Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A couple of interesting pictures

I am posting 2 pictures. One shows 2 pastures, the one on the left has just been grazed (we came out July 23rd) the pasture on the right has had 45 days of rest. Just an interesting looking picture I thought I'd share. The other picture shows what happens when cattle are not allowed to graze. My landlord has fenced out multiple "riparian" areas that the gov't "rents" from him. As you can see, the weeds have completely taken over the plot and are over 6 feet tall. The grass in the rest of this pasture is so thick you can hardly walk through it.

While on the subject of weeds, I have read lots of quotes from "mob grazers" talking about how mob grazing eliminated all their weeds. I don't believe them. While I think mob grazing can certainly help control what I would term "edible" weeds (I've published lots of pictures showing how well the cattle will eat the weeds in a mob grazing system) I don't think they will ever control mature blackberry and buckbrush and I'm not convinced that even if they eat the weeds, that the weeds will not return. The sprouts and the sumac that the cattle just devoured have all greened back up...I don't think grazing them will kill them, at least not in one year. And while my cattle will eat young blackberry bushes, I can't get them to eat big mature bunches and they won't touch mature buckbrush. So while it would be nice to think that a switch to mob grazing would eliminate the need for any type of brush control, I don't think it's realistic. I will spot spray blackberries this August and buckbrush next spring in the hopes of cleaning up some of the pastures.

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