Saturday, December 11, 2021

A patch of warm weather

The Wedge

You will sometimes hear people who graze animals talk about "the wedge".

Management Intensive Grazing separates the pasture into multiple paddocks. The animals are confined to one paddock until they have "eaten it down" to some predetermined level. All of the other paddocks are unmolested by the animals and can grow back without the insult and injury of being grazed at the same time.

Dirt visible and no cover for rodents is my target. Sun hitting the dirt will initiate faster growth in the spring than if it is thatched over with dead grass. You can click to embiggen images.

Excluding rodents is important if you intend to frost seed legumes. The exposed dirt will also freeze-thaw and the seeds will dig themselves in.

The "predetermined level" varies through the year. Right now I am not worried about leaving some grass to capture sunlight and regrow. I want it eaten down hard.

The cattle have been in the paddock on the left since November 14. It is a double-paddock that I expect to get two weeks of grazing on through the grazing season.

You can see there is still much grass and I am a long way from my target level. As they get closer to the ground the quality falls. That is why I supplement with corn. I don't give much when they first move to a new paddock. I feed more corn as they get closer to the target and there is a higher percentage of dead, weathered blades left.

There are three paddocks in this picture. The one in the foreground has been ungrazed the longest. The one in the right-background is in the middle. The one in the left-background is the one the cattle left November 14 and they will not be back until mid-May

I think raptors and foxes like management intensive grazing. It makes it easy for them to hunt field mice and voles.

Ice along the river

Pete Moss

And this would be Kate


  1. You do a nice job on your pastures. Better than most I see. ---ken

    1. It comes down to the fence. If the critters don't respect the fence then you cannot manage the grass.

  2. Nice of you to name your moss Pete!

    1. I hate to contradict Jesus's "Upon this rock I will build my Church" but Pete just seemed to fit.

      After all, who wants to be nick-named Sphaggy?

    2. Somehow I don't recall it saying let he that is without whatever throw the first pun


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