NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Grazing no longer rotating  (Read 1006 times)

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Grazing no longer rotating
« on: July 02, 2018, 06:59:08 pm »
We’ve had no rain for quite a few weeks prior to the current protracted heatwave so the rotational grazing has already ground to a halt with no new growth, exacerbated by our sandy soil. The grazing fields are a golden biscuit. For those experiencing similar, how are you managing?
Voss Electric Fence

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 09:46:33 pm »
There’s no cactus desert emoji... because that’s what it’s like here. Considering taking hay out to the field and providing a feedblock for lambs in the creep feeder. No rain forecast and we have run out of grass so going to have to supplement them in some way. Drawing any fat lambs out too to reduce the numbers of sheep on the fields.

Lingon

  • Joined Feb 2018
  • Uppsala, Sweden
  • The more I see of mankind, the more I prefer dogs.
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 10:02:18 pm »
I'm so grateful that I don't have any grazing animals anymore. The people here that do, have serious problems and have started to feed the animals with the hay for the winter months.

Can't you poll trees? Or feed them reeds? I know that people back in the days used to do that when there was no grass.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2018, 04:00:33 pm »
I've opened up all of my fields, the grass seems to cope better if its longer, rather than the short cropped grass that's just burnt to a crisp..


YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 04:42:20 pm »
Taking the grass down below 50% in one "event" (rotation) damages the roots and hinders regrowth, so yes leaving it longer is far better - however you need somewhere else to put them while you do that!
That's where I am at the moment - some overgrazed because I had to, but fortunately we're bringing new land in to use so this year we should cope. Even with this, if the new land isn't ready in time we'll have to roll out some hay - remember the wastage / trampling of this will at least mulch the ground and maybe aid regrowth.


Please please rain!!

desertmum

  • Joined Mar 2016
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 07:21:38 pm »
Our paddocks are in a terrible state - we have started watering two of them to try and get some grass back.  We feed our sheep hard feed and hay.

Current projects include looking at ways to collect all the r**n we will have later in the year for future use.

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 09:11:01 am »
this is a bigger issues for farmers at the mo.  We are ok as we are understocked for the acreage.


Many are feeding hay. This is the option unless you can rent a field.   If poss keep hay on concrete any seeds are best not cut into the ground unless you want more weeds around feeders.


Dont even consider selling stock at the mo either, the prices have fallen significantly.  Unless you are selling fat stock its not looking good for stores in cattle or sheep.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 09:36:35 am »

Dont even consider selling stock at the mo either, the prices have fallen significantly.  Unless you are selling fat stock its not looking good for stores in cattle or sheep.


Fat lamb price has plummeted these past few weeks with farmers shifting anything that’s close to or finished. But if you have no grass, no fodder, no water then you also have no choice but to sell  :gloomy:

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 09:58:11 am »
It pays to always be understocked, so you have some leeway in the event of extreme weather events, as they are only going to get more common (although this isn't that extreme, its just that we haven't had a long dry spell for quite a number of years).

Consider also your pasture grass species - you need to have deep rooted grasses and legumes in your mix, which will be able to pull water up from deeper down.  I was stuck in a huge traffic jam a couple of weeks ago, and I had much time to stare at the grass verges which had all been cut a few days previously - everything was yellow and crispy dry ... apart from the plantain which had a good length of re-growth on it already.

I've opened up all of my fields, the grass seems to cope better if its longer, rather than the short cropped grass that's just burnt to a crisp..
Sounds like you are leaving them in too long on each rotation.  As YorkshireLass says, aim for 50% eaten, then move them on.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2018, 11:45:09 am »
We've had some light rain overnight, enough to freshen the grass but nothing for the roots.
Times like this I'm glad we are north facing, I can see areas on the other side of the valley drying out. So far we are still green but no growth, and  where we walk regularly is yellow.
Interesting point about people off-loading stock, and more worryingly, using hay, not much hay available round here to start with!

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2018, 03:36:49 pm »
Our fields are all crunchy and brown underfoot, but the thistles are still going strong!  >:(

Sheep still wont eat them.
Ponies still wont eat them.
Horses still wont eat them.

(And the neighbour still hasn't flailed them..., but that's another matter).

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2018, 03:46:12 pm »
Our fields are all crunchy and brown underfoot, but the thistles are still going strong!  >:(

Because they have deep tap roots.  Listen to your weeds, they are trying to tell you something :)

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 03:52:02 pm »
Because they have deep tap roots.  Listen to your weeds, they are trying to tell you something :)
'...please chop my head off with a massive spinning flail...'
??  ;D

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 04:19:54 pm »
Hahahaha!  ;D

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Grazing no longer rotating
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2018, 06:56:15 am »
I've opened up all of my fields, the grass seems to cope better if its longer, rather than the short cropped grass that's just burnt to a crisp..
Sounds like you are leaving them in too long on each rotation.  As YorkshireLass says, aim for 50% eaten, then move them on.

My short grass is grazed by horses, you can't really graze fat horses on rotation like that!

 

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