We often have said that what we do is raise grass.I love grass and of course green is my favorite color.My favorite lesson to teach my kids in science is the wonder of photosynthesis and how grass makes it is own food from the energy of the sun storing that food and releasing oxygen.It is a natural cycle to use cows to harvest our crop of grass.It is just the way it was intended to be.When you go with the flow of the life cycle then every phase seems to benefit.Grassfarmers produce grass and in so doing sustain the environment as we nurture the crop and harvest it with our green machines (grass-fed cattle)Enough philosophizing…
As we have stepped up our efforts of finishing cattle on grass we have had to increase our efforts to assure having a quality chain of forage throughout all seasons.The hardest time for us in southern Missouri is the middle of summer.Dry hill country with a cool season grass base of fescue makes for low quality forages in the summer months.This time is actually harder for us than the winters that are relatively mild and conducive to wheat grass.
Today we are establishing new summer pastures of Sudan grass to add to the Bermuda and Johnson grass pastures we normally graze in these summer months.Consequently Mark will spend most of the day on a tractor.Once established these pastures can be reseeded with a no-till drill and clover (a legume) will be added.
We plan to try a grazing experiment this summer.Last year we discussed with some cattle producers from Argentina how they handle summer grazing in a similar climate zone.They make use of planting corn and soybeans.These are not grown to harvest but simply grazed in the green plant stage before maturing to produce either corn or soybeans.In this stage these green plants provide an excellent forage and hold promise to help us out with that summer droop in pasture.
I’ll let you know how this little experiment works out.