June 12, 2024

From the Pastures: The rush is on

Hello from Graze-N-Grow. The race to keep up with grass growth is about to start here. The sheep and cattle are now content with the rye and volunteer wheat, saving on the hay supply. Periods of mud occasionally create compaction, but hopefully won’t interfere with the corn and bean growth next month.

The March oats and oat/pea fields are starting to look good. My plan is to graze lambs and cattle on some and maybe wet bale some and follow with a summer planting cover of mixed species for fall/winter grazing. The same will be done on the organic wheat here at home. The transitional wheat farther away will get a soil building cover to prepare for next years organic corn crop.

I wish it was fenced so I could graze it, but I’m too old to build a mile of fence on rented ground to take advantage of the benefits grazing can do for soil restoration. So far, the wheat looks good so the chicken litter must be kicking in.

As of today, April 15, Ruth’s greenhouse business has opened for the season so that keeps her too busy to help me except the occasional emergency, usually with me hollering “the sheep are out!”

I’m sure most of you who farm are getting into the spring rush, so be sure to be safe, especially on the road with machinery. Use a guide truck ahead and/or behind if you can. Happy trails.

Jim Draper

Jim Draper

Sheffield, Ill.