Did you miss our last pasture walk? 

Do you want to be notified about future walks in the Endless Mountains region?  Send an email or call.: info@endlessmountainsrcd.org, 570-265-2717.  Also, see our 'champion grazer' interviewed in the video below.

 

Thanks to Jen Johns for this video of our nose pump in use… “This pump works well in providing cool, clear water to the cows while keeping them out of the stream “

 

 

 

 












PAST PASTURE WALKS:

July 21, 2016 - NoTill Grazing & Soil Health - We revisited  Brian Moyer's farm in Sheshequin Township, with grazing specialist Titus Martin from Franklin County, for a tour of the pastures as part of a Capital RC&D project. BCCD and NRCS also assisted, with demonstrations of pasture monitoring (thanks Kevin and Mike!) See all the the pics at bit.ly/EMRCD-SoilHealth2016

 

May 29, 2014 - Grass Management 101 -Thanks to host Randy Watson at Blue Angel Flats Farm in Springfield Twp. 

For handouts, click

on titles: Selected Grasses ID , The Importance of Soil Health, Grazing, Pasture Renovation, Perennial Grasses  (also of interest:  Dr. Elaine Ingham's free introductory course 'Getting to Know Your Soil' at http://soilfoodwebcourse.com/soil-intro/)

 


 

September 10, 2013 -  Finding Your Niche - hosted by Bruce's Poulrty Processing in Litchfield Twp,  a small farm that found self-sustainability in niche markets. Pastured poultry, pigs, beef, a custom poultry processing facility and the beginnings of a hydroponic greenhouse. (click here for event report)


lone cow under tree

 

 August 6 - Small farm management, hosted by the Zeidner's at "Circle Z Beef" in Sugar Run. 
... practical : fencing, grazing, crop farming, land improvements, multi-use areas, and partnerships. (click here for event report)

 

 

 

 

June 26 - PRIME PASTURES - subsoiling & aeration  - hosted by Dave Egge in Albany Twp; Dave showcased his equipment (list of company contacts) but advised all:  do your homework and research - great values can be found in used equipment! (click here for front page Farmer's Friend article)

 

 

 

April 25- "GOT MUD?" -  hosted by Brian Moyer in Sheshequin Twp, to begin this new series.  See PA Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative for Improving Soil Health With Grazing Management and Looking Ahead to Spring Pasture Management handouts and more; also from Indiana County Conservation District, Conveyor Belt Diversions (and related: Tech Bulletin).  Last but not least, by popular request, from Missouri Extension,  How to Build a Horse Fly Trap

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES & RECOMMENDED READING: 

 

Benefits Of Diversity In Perennial Pastures For Soil Health And Forage Production
Sjoerd Willem Duiker, Associate Professor of Soil Management and Applied Soil Physics, aps published by Penn State Extension, August 3, 2016 -- A long-term grazing study shows the advantage of a diversified mix of pasture plant species.

A study performed by the USDA Pasture Lab in State College on a Hagerstown silt loam soil comyearly forage yield of 5 & 2 species pasture mixpared a two-way mix of ‘Tekapo’ orchardgrass/ ‘Will’ white clover with a five-way mix of ‘Puna’ chicory/’Tekapo’ orchardgrass/’Bronson’ tall fescue/’Will’ white clover/’Amerigraze’ alfalfa.

The forages were seeded in a field that had been in alfalfa. The alfalfa was killed in October 2003, seeded to rye in November, and disked and planted to oat in April. This was terminated in July and forage mixes were no-till planted. Besides lime, 10 lbs/A N, 50 lbs/A P2O5, and 210 lbs/A K2O in 2004 no further fertilization occurred.
(click here for full article)

 

 

The Most Important (Grazing) Management Strategy to Date, Troy Bishopp, the Grass Whisperer, as published in HMI IN PRACTICE, July/August 2016 - Andre Voisin developed the theory of rational grazing.  Darrell Emmick gave us prescribed grazing.  Jim Gerrish coined the phenomenon of managemtn intensive grazing.  Greg Judy sparked the practice of mob grazing...(click here for full article)

 

Keys to Building Healthy Soil, Gabe Brown,  Soil Conservationist - Explains how to remediate and build up your soil quality. He covers tools: no till - mycorrhizal fungi - polyculture - beneficial bacterial - fertilizer use - cover crops - mob grazing - grazing animals and biological production models. http://www.growex.co.uk  (filmed on Nov. 18th 2014 at the Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture's annual symposium)

Also see: Soil breakthrough helping growers  2/23/2016, by John O’Connell, Capital Press - A Texas USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist has developed a soil test that's winning over converts among farmers looking to cut back on fertilizer and to better document soil health improvements. http://www.capitalpress.com/Nation_World/Nation/20160223/soil-break-through-helping-growers

 

 

Stockpile Grazing - Progress Report 1 By Troy Bishopp, November 10, 2014, OnPasture.com

Editors Note:  Troy Bishopp custom grazes organic dairy heifers.  He is letting us all follow along this fall and winter as they graze stockpiled feed.  It’s a chance to see how his plan compares to what actually happens on the ground, and to learn from his challenges, mistakes and successes.  He hopes that we can all learn from his example so that we can reduce winter feeding and let animals feed themselves instead.

This fall and winter we are custom grazing 53 organic dairy heifers, 4 bulls and 2 cow calf pairs on forage that I stockpiled last August while the herd was off-farm grazing leased pasture.  (full article here)     (See all reports on Troy's website, TheGrassWhisperer.com )

Standing Tall: Spring Creek Farms Finds Grazing Niche, from Lancaster Farming (6/22/2013)
  http://www.lancasterfarming.com/results/Standing-Tall--Spring-Creek-Farms-Finds-Grazing-Niche-

What is Silvopasture? (from USDA National Agroforestry Center, Working Trees Info Sheet, May 2013)    nac.unl.edu/silvopasture.htm

Prescribed Grazing and Feeding Management for Lactating Dairy Cows, (K Hoffman, R DeClue, D Emmick, NYGLCI/NRCS, January 2000)
 note: this is a large pdf file, in 2 parts:  Cover thru Pg 30      Page 31 to end

Forage Field Guide, Purdue Extension, ID-317 (agry.purdue.edu/dtc)

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GRAZING TOOLS (from Holistic Planned Grazing: Planning Tools and Grazing Charts)

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Weed the Soil, Not the Crop - by Anne & Eric Nordell
Many sustainable growers subscribe to the philosophy of “feed the soil, not the plant.” Our whole farm approach to weed management follows the same line of thinking — only we call it “weed the soil, not the crop.” Instead of relying on the cultivator or the hoe to save the crop from the weeds, we use cultural practices, including cover cropping, bare fallow periods, rotation and shallow tillage to reduce the overall weed pressure in the soil. 

One result of this proactive strategy is we no longer depend on the cultivator or the hoe to grow certified organic produce. “Weeding the soil” has also enabled us to use reduced tillage and living mulches without compromising weed management.

Weed-free conditions did not happen overnight. It took five years — and a good bit of patience and observation — to see a dramatic reduction in weed pressure. Successfully weeding the soil also required all of the following principles and practices.  (read more...)

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The butterfly effect of losing GLCI funding: No more pasture walks? by Rachel Gilker
Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative funding supported many partnerships with grass farmers and graziers. That funding is no longer required to be dedicated to GLCI efforts.

Here’s the question: Does the state NRCS office where you live still see grazing as a priority?  And how will those priorities affect you and your fellow graziers?

Here’s what’s happening and how it might affect you. (read more)



POTENTIAL FUNDING RESOURCES:


Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers ... from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ... Producers can apply for a maximum of $35,000 to pay for initial start-up expenses such as hoop houses to extend the growing season, essential tools, irrigation, delivery vehicles, and annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, marketing, and distribution expenses. As their financing needs increase, applicants can apply for an operating loan up to the maximum amount of $300,000 or obtain financing from a commercial lender under FSA’s Guaranteed Loan Program. click here for more information.

 

OTHER AG COMMITTEE PROJECTS:

(click on project title for more information, which will open in a separate browser window or tab)

  Transitioning to Organic/Technical Assistance

  Local Foods Initiative

  Many Voices of Agriculture

  Healthy Kids Community Garden

  Holistic Planned Grazing for Sustainable Agriculture

  Installation of Grazing Best Management Practices
and Solar/Wind Powered Water Pumping Systems for Rotational Grazing