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Grassfarmer
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 1002
Location: Central Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Faster horses wrote:
Not to change the subject, Grassfarmer, but where do you get
Quackgrass seed? We'd like to buy some, but don't know anyone
who sells it cuz they say it's a weed. Well, it may be,
but it sure has it's place!


We have never seeded any quack grass but there was enough here when I came in old fence lines and on the fields that had been farmed. It is considered a weed by grain farmers but is a very useful grass in a grazing situation. I can't comment on it's hay potential as we don't make hay.

Quote:
AAaack! Really? Well, perhaps in your country it wont turn into the scourge it is here. Wouldn't be so bad if it didn't eliminate every other living thing where it grows, rootbound the soil, mature too early and get stemmy before real hay is ripe, and spread like the plague.


Interesting Silver, but that isn't true in my experience. I took over one area that was a straight timothy stand, had been hayed for years with zero fertilizer or manure returned to it. Extremely low yielding - the plant stalks were only the width of pins. We spread manure from the corrals on it which seeded a good bit of Quack grass. This established quickly and carried us through 2 severely dry years under our intensive grazing system. It got so strong that it looked like what you said - it had eliminated everything else and seemed to be root bound. But nature is wonderful - it doesn't tolerate mono-cultures and all of the sudden the quack seemed to fail in vigor a bit which allowed some competition in - orchard grass and red clover. I was intrigued about this and read about "plant succession" which seems to be what was happening. Basically if your soil, litter and management are improving the conditions available for plants to grow the species growing will change in favor of more productive species. The opposite of this effect is regression which poor management often causes - the guys that re-seed a pasture with a high yielding mixture then overgraze it until it eventually reverts to the poorest species like wild strawberries and even lichens in this area.
It just amazes me how large a seed bank there is in the ground - all it takes is a change on management to turn it around and favor the better species - in the grazing situation anyway. That's been our experience anyway using a grazing plan and high density, short duration grazes as much as possible.


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Silver
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 4542
Location: BC

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that may be the case in a pasture situation. Nearly all of our pasture is native, and quack is not a big issue there. Like you say, monocultures don't last unattended. I don't mind seeing some of it out there as it does stay in check.
But quack grass is a bid deal on hayland though, and drops productivity signifigantly. For that reason I wouldn't invite it onto my place anywhere for love nor money. There's lots of good native grasses out there without messing with that.


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badroute
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 143
Location: Eastern Montana

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always get a kick out of the guys that think it is OK to tag a calf in the front seat of the pickup on a regular basis. I tell them about some cows I have that just moo under their breath at me. They do know the difference between me and a coyote as some of these cows have had ten calves or more on the range snd never lost one.


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Big Muddy rancher
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Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 19242
Location: Big Muddy valley

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't matter guys. If a person feels comfortable doing it their way that just fine. It's to late to cull the cow that just beat you up or maybe killed you. It can be your quietest cow that is hopped up on hormones that you least expect that will get you.

We don't tag many calves at birth just because we aren't really set up for it. We bring in PB pairs and tag at branding if we haven't got them tagged before hand.


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Northern Rancher
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Rancher


Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 12251
Location: saskatchewan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine if a botanical company came out with a grass with the same agronomic qualities of quackgrass we'd all be forking over $3 a pound to buy it. If it is managed right it is a very productive grass and it's FREE. Mind you I've never ever been a farmer-if it's green-grows and cows can turn it into beef I'm all for it. I'm not totally against welders I do have a squeeze chute and some good corral panels but I believe there are some other solutions than by welder. As for haying back in my haying days we'd seed straight alfalfa and let the quack fill it in-I found it made pretty darn good hay. There aren't too many grasses can take advantage of the fertility boost from bale grazing like quack does-root bound is more a symptom of low soil fertility than anything. There were guys that did combine quack and sell it up here years ago-I guess we were minamalist ranchers in our country long before it became trendy.


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burnt
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 6052
Location: Mid-western Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Northern Rancher wrote:
I imagine if a botanical company came out with a grass with the same agronomic qualities of quackgrass we'd all be forking over $3 a pound to buy it. If it is managed right it is a very productive grass and it's FREE. Mind you I've never ever been a farmer-if it's green-grows and cows can turn it into beef I'm all for it. I'm not totally against welders I do have a squeeze chute and some good corral panels but I believe there are some other solutions than by welder. As for haying back in my haying days we'd seed straight alfalfa and let the quack fill it in-I found it made pretty darn good hay. There aren't too many grasses can take advantage of the fertility boost from bale grazing like quack does-root bound is more a symptom of low soil fertility than anything. There were guys that did combine quack and sell it up here years ago-I guess we were minamalist ranchers in our country long before it became trendy.


Well after reading about what good pasture quackgrass makes, I'm feeling pretty blue about all the years that I spent eliminating it from my no-till fields. Now that I have pretty well everything switched over to hay and pasture, it seems like I could benefit from seeding it back down!!

Imagine what my cropping neighbours would say . . . Laughing Laughing Laughing


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DiamondSCattleCo
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 1805
Location: NE Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<chuckle> I get a kick out of "cowboys" that look down on people who use the best tool for the job. Using a welder or a squeeze doesn't make one less "cowboy". If a rope's the best tool, use it. If a welder works for you, use it.

I'm with Pure on the cattle side. I've watched my band of old girls encircle a coyote in the pasture and kill it, but they are smart enough to know the difference between predators and me (with the exception of this year). I still keep the calf between me and them though Laughing Or if a fence is handy, I'll toss the calf over and take care of them on the other side.

Quite frankly, I think it has alot to do with handling and the confidence of handler. If you're around your cattle alot, and are confident around them, they don't look at you as a threat. As I mentioned, my old girls are usually good, but this year I've run into 4 or 5 that I had to take cover from. I blame bale grazing, since I wasn't around them at all this winter until 2 weeks before calving season. Even my pet cow wasn't all that friendly until we got a couple weeks into season.

Rod


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smalltime
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Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 580
Location: SD

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out my cows couldnt read so I quit tagging the calves.The cows still seem to know thier calves and I dont get run over. Very Happy Wink The machine I want to see in action is the one you atach to the side of the 4 wheeler.


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Grassfarmer
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 1002
Location: Central Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quite frankly, I think it has alot to do with handling and the confidence of handler.

That is an important point. Before my wreck with a cow I was never afraid of cattle in my life and the cattle seemed to sense that confidence. Since then however the cattle can detect a change - more so than I can, I guess at that last minute when I'm catching a calf or bluffing the cow they detect a little hesitancy. It explains to me why years ago we had workers that got chased by reasonable cows which had never bothered me. The cow seems smart enough to detect the subtle element of fear in humans.

My Dad always tells the story of an old Galloway he had in the '60s that was a notorious battler. She was crazy about anyone catching a calf - not just her calf and would attack. One time he was working with sheep in the next field - it was breeding season and a ram had gone lame so he gathered the sheep into a corner with the dog and ran in to catch the ram to check it's feet. Imagine his surprise when this crazy old cow came crashing through the hedge/with page wire fence to "rescue" the "calf" Shocked
Luckily the dog played distraction while he dropped the ram and hightailed it out of there. This would be October - the cow had her April born calf at side so it wasn't calving time hormones that upset her.


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Northern Rancher
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Posts: 12251
Location: saskatchewan

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well some folks at ranchers.net have actually toured around my cows with me-despite being bale grazed-roped to tag and calved on the grass they are pretty easy cattle to be around-my two little girls can go sort cows if need be. You can blame bale grazing-moon phases and weld till your blue in the face but there are cattle that are genetically destined to be nut cases-=just like people. Cull the bad ones it's not rocket science. One of the best deals about growing quack grass is the look on your neighbors face when you tell them you desire it on your land-after all it is your land-I don't especially like smelling stinking weed spray around my place either so it all comes out in the wash.


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Silver
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 4542
Location: BC

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might so well make sure there's canada thistle in there too. It's green and drought resistant.


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Faster horses
Rancher
Rancher


Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 24458
Location: SE MT

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soooo, where can I find some quackgrass seed? And I'm drop dead
serious...




Last edited by Faster horses on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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