Went up and helped Dean this morning and then this afternoon Gramma rode with me and we went south and looked at cattle. Snapped some pictures of the grass. When you see he red grass in your pasture, you know you are not over grazing (which is really a misnomer) as it is a decreaser, both little and large bluestem. I am getting more and more of it on what was traditionally late spring/summer range. I try to use all my pastures at all times of the year and try to rotate in such a way as to never go into a pasture the same time as previous years. some pastures get grazed very hard at times but I have always managed to let some hardly get grazed. The grass is so heavy now that the cattle are mashing down about as much as they are eating, which used to drive me crazy until I found out that the mashed down grasses are what feed all the little bugs in the soil, which makes the soil better, which makes it grow better grass. So it’s really just fertilizer and a way to stop water from running off and it helps your pasture and grasses get better and better. The worst thing you can do is have bare ground and we are always learning new things. Fire is a tool some use, especially in the south east where it is wetter and they have a faster recovery time. I would use fire, but you have to use it in spring to be most effective/safe and in order to do that, they tell me you have to leave a lot of old grass, which is expensive to a rancher who makes his living off the grass and forage that grows. I would like to see a few less woody plants, but I think the most cost effective way to do that would be to have sheep and goats grazing. If I could just find someone who had some and a herder for them, as I am not set up with fences to keep sheep or goats here and it is too high priced for me to do it, tho’ I could do a small pasture at a time, but I still like the idea of herding better, as you can keep the sheep and goats on problem areas and more effectively get the woody species cut back.
Here are some pictures. Be sure to click on them to make them bigger.