One day. Just one day. This is the first paddock of second grazing of the growing season. We raced across the farm through late March, April and early May, now we are beginning to slow down. I’m asking the cows to work through a somewhat narrow grazing area, trampling around 60% of the standing forage, eating 30% and leaving 10% standing.
They seem just as happy as can be. They mob up, as much as 6 cows can mob up, and march across whatever fresh ground I give them then lay down to chew their cud.
Looking forward a bit, in about two weeks we’ll be here:
The cheat that is growing there will be absolutely unpalatable by then but the crimson clover out there should help. They’ll just trample what they don’t eat but the cheat will stick to their socks.
Sooner or later the cows will be on the South slope of the hill. That slope is hot, fairly steep and covered in cow paths. In short, it doesn’t grow a lot of grass. The hill is mostly clay and is hard packed. We’re just praying for weeds to break up the clay.
I have to make sure this has recovered as much as possible before we graze it, not for the sake of the cows but for the sake of future grass here. I need healthy grass, deep roots and more microbes. We’ll have to manage it carefully to clean up these spots.
Will it work? I have the cows I have, right cows or not. I have to put the cows I have in the right place at the right time for the right length of time while allowing time for the rest of the farm to recover. And while managing for pasture diversity. No pressure.
I think we’re getting there. In case I mess up I have about 4 acres in reserve. Gotta have a backup plan.
What’s your backup plan? How does your pasture look?