2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3, Page #10[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
No Drill Needed To Reseed Pastures
“I feed the herd a mineral mix daily, spreading it in a line alongside a fence,” explains Wilson. “When I want to reseed a particular pasture, I mix grass seed with the mineral about 48 hrs. before moving them into that paddock. It takes about that long for the seed to pass through the cow. I do have to take care to be sure the grass seed isn’t treated.”
He notes that when the cow deposits the seed with her manure, it has already started to germinate. In his biologically active pastures, dung beetles, earthworms and others quickly break down the manure, leaving the grass seed to root and grow.
“Another benefit of feeding the mineral in the fence line is the cows clean up the grass there,” says Wilson. “Other grazers have to trim fence lines or spray herbicides. I let the cattle do it.”
Wilson grazes his cattle on stockpiled grass for much of the winter. When he does feed hay, he does so on fields that need the manure and may need to be reseeded.
As he only feeds hay for around 35 days each winter, he buys hay rather than bale it himself. He prefers lower quality, rougher hay that often has gone to seed before it is baled, and not just for its lower cost.
“I save on equipment costs, diesel fuel and time,” explains Wilson. “Plus when I feed the hay, the seeds and manure get spread. Any hay not eaten, also breaks down to supply nutrients to the pasture.”
Wilson uses the same concepts of cattle seeding in the late summer. He will move cattle back and forth from a paddock that has matured and gone to seed to ones that need reseeding.
“I’ll graze them on grass that has gone to seed for a few hours and then into an area that needs the seed,” says Wilson. “Over a few days, wherever manure drops, so does seed. Even though it may be July or August, the manure holds moisture for the seed to get started.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wilson Land & Cattle Co., 1532 Stitzinger Rd., Tionesta, Penn. 16353 (ph 814 354-2325; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.russwilson.net).
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