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Still Swath Grazing (Pics)

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RSL

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Moved fence this morning. We have about 2 weeks of swath grazing to go.
Older cows waiting for breakfast...
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The good stuff to the south...
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and the north...
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Young cows on swaths
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Fencing truck, able assistant, and fencer (the shadow was wearing a straw hat this morning).
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This has been a nice winter. We put straw bales around the field on various hilltops that need nutrients and/or gopher control and the cows spread it as they reach it on their grazing rotation. The swaths are seeded at 1bu barley, 1bu oats and 1/2bu fall rye per acre with no other inputs other than cutting it with our haybine. Cost per day runs just under $0.40 and we spend less than an hour a week doing chores for cows.
From here we go to stockpiled grass, and then onto the new stuff...
 

leanin' H

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How does setting out the straw bales help control gophers? Someday, when i have the ground to try swath grazing i am going to try doing it. I appreciate the pictures and learning new ways (to me) of running cows. Thanks! :D
 

RSL

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Our gophers like areas with low growth and therefore not a lot of organic matter. The straw boosts the nutrients and the organic matter, they don't really like the mat of straw to go through and we get better growth the following year. The other thing is when we set bales out in the fall, the hawks use them as perches and do a number on the colonies. We also use a bit of lead poisoning for assistance...
 

C Thompson

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Great pictures RSL. We are still new enough at this that it almost makes us giggle to see cows looking after themselves. No opportunity to swath graze here but we have been bale grazing purchased hay for several years. We cut our winter feeding days in half last year and shaved another two weeks off this year. Fueled the tractor up three times to feed 200 head all winter. The cows just started calving this week and seem to be able to do that on their own too. Who knew?
 

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