The end of last year we made the decision to plant about 30% of our pastures in native seed. A mixture of grasses, flowers, lagums and forbs. Seed was pricey but we decided the long term outcome would be beneficial in several ways. No need to lime or mow. With the roots on the grasses going up to 20 feet deep it is not necessary to add lime. Mowing is no longer needed, not as well kept looking ( hope Wanye can deal with this concept) but fire will be the re-newel of sections in several years. Deeper roots equal more drought tolerant. It creates a nice selection for the cows to choose from. Gives us the opportunity to pull them off the fescue grass in the heat of summer when it becomes toxic. Many angles of win from our point of view.
Seed had to be in by Feb 13th. We tried several types of planters to broadcast seed but none of them worked. The seed was all different sizes and shapes. Our method was to hand broad cast almost 30 acres. We walked the cleared areas with 5 gallon buckets of seed throwing it to the wind. Can I say that’s a LOT of steps!!! As we neared the end of the seed I was standing in the pasture throwing seed into the wind thinking I’m throwing 100 dollar bills. My mom was probably cringing from the grave but my form of gambling is farming. Sometimes you win sometimes you don’t, guess we both like to gamble just different avenues.
To our excitement and thankfulness to the Lord this crazy science project is coming along nicely. No grazing this year of any of that forage and next year only 2 very short controlled grazing. By year three there will be “some” forage but it will be year 4 before we can utilize this acreage.