1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
He Sets His Combine To Lose grainGene Goven, Turtle Lake, N.D., has come up with a way to get another $25 to $30 per acre out of his wheat, barley and oats fields, according to a recent article by Lon Tonne-son in THE FARMER magazine.
During harvest, Goven adjusts the con-cave, cylinder and fan settings on his combine to purposely "throw out" an extra 1/2 - 1 bu. per acre of grain. When the "volunteer" grain sprouts up 4 to 6 in. tall among the stubble, he opens the field to his beef cows and calves for grazing. When the plants are grazed back to 2 - 3 in. in height, he moves the herd to another field. Once the grain regrows to 4 - 6 in. tall, he lets the cows back in, repeating the process until winter.
"Crowding the field is the key," says Goven. "The hoof action tramples grain into the soil. This increases seed germination." By rotating the animals on and off the volunteer grain, more of the seeds germinate and the plants produce forage longer.
"I had been getting $6 to $10 per acre of grazing value from stubble," says Goven. "Last year, with timed grazing, I got $30 to $38 per acre."
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