Pasture management for newbie

4 posts

Member for

4 months 1 week
Last seen: 02/02/2020 - 08:38
Joined: 01/25/2020 - 16:04

Pasture management for newbie

Hi

Looking for some guidance on pasture management. Very new to this so please be gentle. We purchased a 5 acre property a little over 12 months ago and the portion in question is about half of that. It is not currently divided up and home to 2 lawnmowers in the form of 2 Dexter cows. To my untrained eye the pasture looks to be in reasonable shape - the grass could be longer but we kept on top of the obvious weeds last year by hand pulling (I never want to see another piece of Fireweed) and spot spraying with Roundup. My plan, such as it is, aims to rest and restore sections of this area on rotation so we can improve the rested section by poo removal, fertilizing and weed removal. It's the latter aspect that I'm struggling with. I know there are selective products like GrazeOn etc that should take care of the weeds but I understand that one of the components hangs around for a while and will find its way into the cows and onward into their poo. As we like to use collected poo elsewhere as a soil improver (especially in the veggie garden), that presents a problem. Hence the request for advice. Are there other selective products that don't leave a residue or do we have to accept it and give up on the idea of using the collected poo? I should also say that the weeds we would be dealing with are new growth weeds that are well interspersed with grass (which is kikuyu btw) so spot spraying is not an option.

One last question about the fertilisation stage - I was planning on applying Seasol (which we have already), lime and a general NPK fertiliser. Are there any liquid products which would allow me to do that in one application? I have a small tow behind boom sprayer and keen to put that to use if possible.

Hope this makes sense and thanks in advance for any guidance and comments

Peter

Last seen: 06/02/2020 - 10:40
Joined: 02/28/2011 - 14:19

Hi Peter,

Welcome to the hobby farm forum and thanks for the question.

Regarding grazon and residue in livestock manure, I'm not aware of this, is this something you have been told or read somewhere? I have had a look at the chemical label and there are only with-holdings on the slaughter of livestock. You could try contacting the company that produces it directly, on  1-800 700 096 Dow Agri-sciences is the company name. The other thing to consider is that if you are using Grazon to control woody weeds the livestock may eat very little of them after the chemical application so any residue in the manure would be reduced.

Regarding fertiliser and what to use, it is always best to start with a complete soil test to assess macro and micro nutrients, otherwise you are only guessing what the soil needs. The soil test laboratory can provide you with a fertiliser recommendation based on the soil test results. If you have large macro nutrient deficiencies (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur) a liquid fertiliser is unlikley to provide a sufficient quantity of the nutrient needed.

Below is a link to an article we have written on a guide to soil testing
https://www.farmstyle.com.au/news/guide-soil-testing-small-farms

We also have an active Facbeook discussion group which you may like to join
https://www.facebook.com/groups/FarmStyle/

Regards,
Charlie

 

Last seen: 06/02/2020 - 10:40
Joined: 02/28/2011 - 14:19

Thanks for the links, I wasn't aware of the residue being passed onto manure.

If you are only spot spraying I wouldn't be concerned about it, if you are doing a blanket application with a boom spray I would source some manure elsewhere until the withholding period has passed.

I have also posted your question to our Facebook discussion group to get some feedback from other members, you can view it here
https://www.facebook.com/groups/FarmStyle/

Regards,
Charlie

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