Saturday, July 18, 2020


I think one of my major grass species is Redtop (Agrostis gigantea). The money quote is "Cattle prefer nearly all other cultivated grasses to redtop"

It behooves the animal husbandryman and grazier to study his pasture with the intention of being able to estimate the amount of standing dry-matter per acre.

I just moved Sprites seven calves from my largest paddock to a fresh one. There was still forage available but had been trampled and shat upon.

The paddock is approximately 1.2 acres in size and according to the text messages Sprite and I swapped, they have been on it for eleven full days.

If 3500 pounds of cattle eat 4% of their body-mass in dry matter a day, then 11*3500*.04/1.2 was the amount of usable, standing dry-matter. That pencils out to 1300 pounds per acre.

That is not a very impressive number for a mixed grass/clover pasture. I expect to get two more rotations across it before the grazing season is done.

Making paddocks smaller increases the usable dry-matter per acre because less of it is trampled and less of it is rejected due to the palatability issues that trampling creates.

I need about eight more fence posts to split that paddock in half. It will also be worth my while to replace the redtop grass with almost anything else. This might be a good place for an endophyte-free Tall Fescue like Tuscany II or Courtenay

Stupice. Not very big. First picking. I will comment later on how much I like or do not like this variety. I need to live with it a little while before I decide.

First picking. OK, I lied. I ate one the other day and it was bitter. I was not impressed. While cutting these up for pickles I tried another. It wasn't nearly as bitter as my first. Perhaps the first one was a weirdo.

I wish I had a way to cram more pickles in a jar. These filled four quarts.

I am not the only one with this problem. I bought a jar of gherkins a week ago and after eating all of the pickles the jar was more than 50% full of juice. Maybe even 60% full.

I am starting with the recipe from HERE but already am thinking that I prefer more vinegar and less salt. I also left out the allspice and coriander and added garlic.

No evidence of visits from Trash Pandas

I opted for running the wire through the center of the bait and crimping it to both top and bottom wire. I don't want it easy to pull off the wire.


  1. Since you have electric fencing you could try strip grazing your paddocs for more yield. You use fiberglass 3/8 stakes with insulators to hold the electric twine. Easy to move with a rubber mallet. You connect with a gate handle. I used to use this method for the afterfeed on the hay fields when I managed a dairy in the Catskills in N.Y. some years ago. The New Zeland dairy farmers use this method extensively.

  2. Pick your cucumbers earlier. They get bitter when they're oversize.

  3. Be interesting to see what happens.

  4. Our experience with endophyte-free fescue, 20+ years ago, was that it turned toes-up atthe first hint of drought or overgrazing.
    Novel endophyte types, like MaxQ may be a better choice, even if seed is 2x the price.


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