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Cover Crops And Livestock Justin Zahradka



well good afternoon early evening everyone my name is Darrell Oswald and I'm here to give you a welcome this this afternoon on behalf of the Burley County Soil Conservation District and its Board of Supervisors and its employees I'd like to welcome you to the manila confirm to our cover crop tour earlier today we had a fine group of Montanans in this morning and early afternoon Dave mark wet asked me he said why weren't the North Dakotans first and I told him I said we're feeding you guys I said we didn't feed them Montana so we think more of you North Dakotans than we do the Montana itself anyway I see first of all I'd like to little housekeeping we do have a bathroom here we have a sniffy Biff outside as well very much looking forward to the evening we have some very good cover crops considering some of the drier conditions that we've experienced here this year we have some cover crops to look at tonight we're going to look at grazing some cover crops we have a cool season mix that's a nine Way mix we have some winter rye and mixed with some other species as well and so we'll be taking a look at that with us tonight too we have I see there's three supervisors from the Burley County Soil Conservation District and two of them are right there David Bower is the chairman of the the Soil Conservation District Jeremy salmon from Wing David is from from Regan and Tyler Lange is also here he's in the back looking for a quick getaway I guess I don't know Tyler is from Sterling he's also here we have the district conservationist from the Burley County field off then RCS David flooger dave is in the back with his hat pulled down he's with us this evening a little bit about cover crops and the Minoan farm the Minoan farm is many who or some of you know was started in 2009 by the Burley County Soil Conservation District and in front of you there's the pamphlet and and the soil health principles but the Minooka farm is a conservation demonstration farm and and and I think that that's something to key the sieve nning what we see out there in the field and what we do is is is demonstrating what can be done what can't be done the system's approach management enhances erosion protection sunlight harvest plant diversity carbon pollinators beneficial insects wildlife salinity control livestock forage and more and the reason I reread them off to you is not because I don't think any of you can read but when you think of cover crops and the use of cover crops and how you can use them those things are all covered with cover crops for lack of a better term and so as I was looking through the pamphlet I thought that you know a truth that that was a very true statement so when you look at those issues and and and what cover crops can do and and the uses of them that that that's all covered so the program tonight is going to feature J fear and J is the NRCS soil health specialist from the state of North Dakota and he's also very imperative to the operation of the farm and he's going to do a little demonstration tonight right in here force Lake and also with us we're very pleased to have Justin's a wrap with us and Justin is right here Justin is a farmer in rancher from Lawton North Dakota I've known Justin a long time for being he's a very very young man he's been raising covers for close to six years already he just recently graduated from NDSU and he's I've heard Justin talk in other places he's a very knowledgeable and and young man and he's full of information and he's got his own cow herd now in Lawton which I believe is in the northeast part of the state correct and there's not really a lot of cowboys up there is there he might be the only cowboy up there and so he brings a different perspective and and it's kind of neat that he's doing what he's doing and where he's at and I'm really eager and anxious to hear what he's got to say so without further ado I think that's about it and we'll we'll get the program started and then from here we will move out into I think we're going to take a walk through the high tunnel and talk some of the relationships of gardening and cover crops and then we have a trailer that everyone will be hopped on and then of course Tim will be driving that and and we'll go through the evening and then when we're finished then we'll come back here and have lunch and some fellowship and and visit and hope and talk about what we've seen and what happened tonight so with that again welcome everyone and I appreciate you coming out today and again thank you so all right welcome glad to see you all everyone understands no smiling no conversations about the resource can't have that this evening no laughing ok it's ok you can smile it's all right it's all right I want to do just one little gimble and then we're going to go to the field okay and since David and Rosie are pretty important we're gonna do it right in front of them so everyone can see you're gonna wish you never side no you wouldn't get me a little water out of the maybe half okay so we're gonna take two soils okay we're gonna take two soils and we're gonna do what's called a slake I have a soil here that's been used in cover crops quite a bit it's had a lot of exposure to cover crops in the last five years I have a soil here that's never seen a cover crop and it's never really ever saw diversity you can tell there's a little difference they're both loam soils but there's a little difference in the color right would you agree one's lighter one's darker this one's maybe a little darker why would one be darker it's darker because it has more what in it yeah Morton yeah more nutrient more organic matter exactly so it's a darker color because the color of carbon is black exactly coal oil those are black in color okay so one's been losing carbon one's been gaining carbon what difference does that make so we'll put these in the water and we'll watch them slake when I put them in the water the water is going to come in to these but how is it how does it get in yeah soak but they got tiny openings then we call them pore pore spaces yeah so the water's going to come in through these little pore spaces and when it's in there it's going to create a pressure and if the pressure is greater than the glues you will start to slake off microscopically okay if the glues are adequate enough to withhold the pressure you'll have aggregate stability and they'll be stable okay and the cover crops generate more carbon because you had typically have them during a time of year when you maybe don't have a plant okay like maybe yeah maybe in fall after harvest they end up harvesting more co2 out of the atmosphere which ultimately becomes the carbon that goes into the soil so you can do this at home real easily you go to Walmart get yourself some some cheeseball jars they're the ones I recommend you have to eat the cheese balls you start to see your way clear on this I never use them twice because that means you go back and get another look you know jar cheese balls okay so you want something kind of tall so that you can actually see the slaking if you don't have some height you can't really see the slaking okay so that's why you want something a little bit taller and then even on the net you know I cut out the bottoms of the net as much as I can because I want pressure on that clod pressure on that ped okay and the idea is to have soil that doesn't fall apart okay so we had a little water here I just want to top these off you had no idea David that this was the right place to sit yeah those Montana cracks okay every soil has about 25% air in it so we should have some air come to the surface all right we should see some bubbles right so we have that and as it'll come in to the pad yeah it'll start to create a pressure okay so we got a few bubbles coming to the surface it's kind of creating a pressure well the water is coming in and it takes a little bit but then when as the water comes in the pressure starts to build more okay so we'll take the other one and we'll put that in also well we can always move you this this one this one has had the history of cover crops right here okay so this one this one says low soil disturbance high crop diversity cover crops and livestock okay this one has has no history of cover crops no history of livestock does not have crop diversity and it has full tillage okay so let's go ahead and label that one that way it's a little easier to keep them uh keep them apart now as that water comes in and it starts to peel off these little soil particles are called soil aggregates these are just small little particles it starts now you're seeing the slaking occur so if we were outside in the field and it was raining and this was occurring what would you call it erosion exactly that would be erosion because the erosion would have broke it down the water would have broke that broke that soil particles down because the glue there weren't adequate glues to hold it together and it would have took off okay now if you were going to drink one of these this evening do you have a preference just water both cases right but as little difference in the clarity isn't it okay so we have a little difference on the clarity of water as well also we start to see something on the surface this one has I don't know David can you see the surface with your eyes or should I ask Rosie I think I think we should ask rose yeah you see any difference on the surface you might have to stand to see it yeah there's a there's a film on this one and but nothing on this one that film the technical soils ker in the scum because that's what happens it floats to the surface and it's really kind of the glow Malin and the proteins that are left as this soil dissolves they float to the surface okay so we start to see a difference in that environment so long history of cover crop use it's brought more carbon into the soil and also you got just got more root mass to stabilize the soil a long history of no covers no livestock no diversity and full tillage so there's always a difference when you take extremes like this okay these were these are extremes and you could find another cropping system that maybe is somewhere in the middle maybe it's somebody that was using more diversity maybe somebody that didn't have very little tillage if any and he would start to center in somewheres else so they'd all fall in there these are kind of the extremes that I'm showing you this evening I I don't know David only the Montana people could ask questions so you you learn all right I suppose it would give you one go ahead are these bullets growing crops every year – yes yes and they're both loam soils so whenever you do this when you do this at home all you really want to do is take a clod off the surface of the soil and dry it they got to be dry and put them in a windowsill or the pickup – or something and dry them turn them now and then and when they're totally dry and if you have a little bit taller container and a little bit of netting you're ready to do slake and you can also just YouTube it and you'll see more about slake than you want to see okay so consequently it kind of gives you why we're going to talk about the cover crops so I just wanted to set the stage here we have cover crop use here we have no cover crop use and and it comes with other items as well that the covers have been really instrumental in in building soils okay questions before we move on yes David yes and what we're gonna do to illustrate that this evening we're gonna do infiltration so we'll put the rains in the soil when we're out in the field and that will put it in the fields with cover crops and without and we'll time it I thought maybe yeah well it's a good question so we'll time it this evening and then we'll know how long it takes for that inch to percolate it okay fair enough so we're gonna do infiltration then we're also gonna do tighty-whitey so have you ever done the tighty-whitey soil example take men's underwear and you bury him and I buried them a month ago and we'll dig them up tonight and then we'll bury them where we have diversity and we buried in where we don't have diversity and then you look at the decomposition of the underwear okay makes sense and I promise you when we do this I'll be brief actually I used it in South Dakota last year actually I was the recipient of it as the as we did that one somebody hollers out could you be brief and I said no but we'll shorten it up so there's lots of little things come along with it so we'll we'll dig up the cotton the key is it's cotton it's carbon okay so that's carbon so that's a food source that's why you can look at the decomposition there's always been a USDA methodology to take cotton strips and put them in the soil to observe decomposition we've always had that but then somebody thought up why not use men's underwear and it kind of gives it a lighter atmosphere and it's a little more fun so we'll dig that up too okay one last item the scene you know where and we'll talk about this in the high tunnel we're gonna just take a quick stop at the high tunnel then we're gonna get on the trailer but we're drawing sweet potatoes one of the crops in the high tunnel this year we and never I've never grown sweet potatoes some of you here might know a lot about sweet potatoes and I'm more than willing to listen but there's a pan Bruce you and grab that pan of sweet potatoes right there with you so we went because we didn't know if this is it's been in three and a half months maybe maybe just a little bit longer than three and a half months so we dug up one plant this evening and I think we got some sweet potatoes and so this was one plant and we've got two or three bunkers full of them and so we'll be taking a look at that but it's been kind of fun to experiment with a new crop and the height tunnel is nice because you get it's a four month crop so you can kind of get them in there and start it and they do not like frost so we're gonna give that a try but I this was new for me and but I'm glad to see that we had something if we dug up that plant and had absolutely nothing I've been back to the drawing board great okay so with that let's take a walk we'll start at the height tunnel and then we'll get on the trailer and the interesting thing is of course if how many high tunnels could you put in Bismarck there'd be no end not only that which you could run them off of the city off of what the city throws away you know the coffee grounds and scraps and compost and you could run the entire high tunnel off of that and so when groups come through with the discussion is not how we're gonna feed X number of billion of people in the future the discussion is how do we educate and empower people to feed themselves because I really think that's the key they got to be able to feed themselves and I think facilities like this can play a big role and the first thing that we had to learn in here was how to control salinity because your evaporation rate in here is sky-high so one of the first things you want to do is cover the soil so I'll help principle and the cropland so help principle in here so you got to cover the soil you can use this is just an organic slow decomposing material that it probably last 20 years but air and water can go through this material if I wasn't using this I'd probably used alfalfa something to slow down the evaporation because the evaporation rate in here is sky-high and it'll go with it'll burn through a soil pretty fast and so if you can slow down the salinity and the the evaporation you'll you won't have an issue with the salinity but that's first thing is cover it because the salinity and the evaporation will be sky high in here second item was we figured out a nutrient source and then of course the diversity and the rotation and then as we take these crops out if there's time remaining we'll put a cover crop back in and then and we had bug Fest in here a few weeks ago and they identified five beneficial insects in here that are predator types and and one reason that they felt there was that many in because there's a gopher in here too and the gopher is not a big deal but the burrow is so if you have the Gophers burrow you got the home for other insects because they all use the burl they lay eggs its habitat so the Burrow is important so we let the gopher the gopher just comes and goes as he pleases but he's got a burrow in here so we like that but it kind of gives you some idea just one since you were here thought we'd just stop in here on our way to the trailer and yes fish emulsion is just ground-up fish leftover product in the fish industry it's just pureed just a liquid I never put it on a day before a tour because you would know it you would know it if you put it on here it's it's significant but it's it's a nice nutrient source you know it's well well rounded because this everything left over in the fish industry and they just grind it all up and it's pureed and it's a liquid and we just ordered a 55-gallon barrel a number of years ago and we've just used out of it over the years you can't spoil that oh yeah and it freezes and during the winter evidently but it thaws out again the next spring so we just kept using it but it's always been effective so it's just a fish emulsion and then the coffee grounds and you can pick the coffee grounds up for nothing you can get those for free use it nitrogen coffee grounds good nitrogen source yep yep any other questions okay okay so irrigation pipe 6-inch pipe nothing nothing fancy steel or aluminum is fine and I put a little lying on here because you want to get it in the soil three inches okay that way the water doesn't have the option of kind of going horizontal so Darryl's gonna gently convince one of them to go into the soil I bevel one end and then I write something creative like top on the other end okay that helps me so a bevel one end top on the other then you need four hundred forty four milliliters of water these are five hundred when you get a bottle of water that's five hundred mils right it's right on the bottle and what an inch of water is is 444 okay and so we need a little bit less a little bit less than what's in there and we're just going to let a little bit out there we're pretty close right on the line there just about and then we got a hen inch of water and then we're gonna ask somebody with a phone that might give us 60 seconds somebody would be willing to do that if you've got a smart phone on you stopwatch is good yep now Darrell's got a little saran wrap there and the reason for that is when you pour the water on the soil surface it doesn't slake and seal right away okay that's the only reason for that should I pour her in yep okay we're going to pour the water in to get it ready okay and are we good with the timer okay we're going to take out the saran wrap and now we're going to give it a little time so how's the water gonna get in the soil now to find a poor space how did we get in the room in that room we had to come into the poor space and opening it's the same way when all these soil particles are together there's little pockets in between them all sometimes they'll find a mackerel pore that would have been made by a tuber like say a tap rut or it would have been made by an earthworm a mackerel port but most of the time you're dealing with micro pores something much smaller okay if you got macro pores the water is going to go in quite rapidly okay if you don't have it that's going to slow it up some now from the viewpoint of what's reasonable if you're less than 10 minutes that's considered quite good okay if you're less than 10 minutes and so we're going to give this one a little bit of time we got the timer going it's really close Daryl really close I think we could probably almost call that let's call it where's our timer for 10 ok and then what you want to always do when you're doing infiltration always want to flip it over okay you can come in closer if you like I don't see any macro pores on this one but it is rather uniformly wet sometimes you'll do this and you'll have areas that are dry and the water is all coming through a small area so it's rather uniformly wet see the plate enos that's one of the biggest issues we have in production egg is getting root masses through that building some aggregates in it so it becomes a little more productive and infiltrates water better so nice uniformity so that's a good thing this wheat field is been in no-till since 2009 but it has no diversity it's only wheat continuous wheat no cover crops no livestock okay just wheat so no macropores but what was our time for okay so look at it this way inch of water like Justin we were talking about before inch of water and 4/10 how many times do you get an inch of water in four minutes it you hope you don't yeah it probably could happen but that's why you want this infiltration to be as short a period as you can is there room for improvement yes absolutely like to see it get to be something smaller than that shorter and shorter time frame okay okay but everybody knows how to do infiltration we're gonna do one more yet tonight well we repeat it yet now we got enough cover on the ground I don't have to put that plastic down the saran wrap okay because I got cover on the surface if you don't have cover on the surface and you pour water on it you're probably going to see a lot of those pores seal and that's the USDA certified block of wood it was a pee field for HP buckwheat phacelia and mustard in here Pass pass okay we're gonna put some water in again 444 milliliters we got a timer anyone really on the timer okay let's go you can come on up closer and I think we need to call that one 25 seconds is there room to improve yes could be better right oh yeah could have been 20 could have been 15 okay so now if you're 25 seconds and you start looking at that and let's just use 30 seconds or 1/2 minute you take a look at an hour that's quite a few inches in an hour so now do you normally get an inch of rain in 25 seconds no not usually okay and so there's a big difference but this is this is a very inexpensive effective way to determine where you're at on the soil health scale and if you're under 10 minutes that's a good indicator you're under 10 minutes now this field has got all crop types on it all four crop types okay and you're all familiar with them cool season grass warm season grass cool season broadleaf warm season broadleaf it also has a cover crop immediately after harvest okay because you want to capture co2 you're capturing co2 okay so you have that immediately after harvest and it's also had livestock integration since 2009 and when you graze the covers we just top them we take the top half we don't graze the bottom after the plant the bottom half we try to trample to the soil surface okay questions it's a good infiltration could be better right Justin always be better I like that thinking and I think we have to think that way in agriculture cuz we should always strive to make it better and I think we can do that plant diversity this and this has got as I recall Darrell 60 pounds awry so there was 60 pounds of rye put on here and then there's the collards or excuse me the brassicas turnip radish phacelia this one is this one is phacelia and it's got a beautiful flower that will happen if the frost stays away for a bit yet but there's a good diversity and the mustard is a pretty inexpensive one and so full seeding of mustards five pounds and so there's one one pound of mustard in here it's really gone pound it's really taken up and so it's a nice filler to make it economical because I think the mustard was around ninety cents a pound and so you can always use some mustard in there to fill in the gap and kind of cheapen it up a bit and you know you want it to be economical and and consequently next spring we hope to graze this rye okay so the rise gonna overwinter next spring we hope to graze it and we hope to plant green into its standing that's the goal okay possibly possibly beans pasta that seems to be the best crop for planting green planting green is just what you're hearing you know there's an active green plant growing there we have some people that are in North Dakota now they're in the third and fourth year of planting green and it handles salinity so it transpires out the water instead of the water evaporating out so it transpires it out controls the erosion so when you get all those wins in the spring remember the wins we had this spring when we had the really bad one was at the end of March we got that gentle breeze of 70 miles an hour remember that one it's blowing vehicles off the interstate okay my wife and I are driving to Fargo that day the no-till soybean fields were just blowing just erosion because the soybeans stick isn't gonna be enough but if you had a cover crop in there with it now you'd have it under control so there's all these different ways to look at it but again let's pop that up there's a hitter of spade around here yeah the peas round 43 bushels and weighed 62 pounds yellow pea and it went to willful make we sold them for 66 82 682 bushel so I don't think we'll get hurt too bad on them I actually did okay yeah it's it's what do you see there there there there what do you see there you can you concede those are macropores okay you need a mackerel poor to get in filtration that fast now if you don't have macro pores you're gonna be more like we were over at the wheat field that was not bad infiltration don't get me wrong that was not bad infiltration but to get it much quicker really got to have macro pores to do that and the macro pores are earthworms and and radish and sunflower ruts etc all right now you can see him a lot better there now you can see him a lot better so you can see the macro pores in there so consequently the way we went okay so always a balance rights always a balance and on this side it was grazed this is the second grazing on it now it went it had owed P it had all the brassicas it had vetch and had lentil and that sweet clover it had this annual ryegrass kale and mustard the first time it got grazed it looked like a note P field that's all you really saw was oat P okay so it took that canopy off with the livestock took the top half off the second time it got it's getting grazed it looks more like a veg field because the understory came okay and so consequently it kind of gave us these two phases did it put the livestock on a high plane of nutrition yeah put them on a pretty high plane of nutrition so again that's kind of a balance but the thing you want to keep in mind is it had a combination of plants oat pea kind of took over initially and was dominant everything else was the understory and then after that grazing which took off the top half that opened it up and then the second flush comes after that and so that kind of gives you some idea and we'll we can walk over closer to the livestock if you like but we're Justin to come forward I'm going to give them the microphone here and ask him to give us a little bit of information and share us share with us kind of his experiences well thank you Jay the first cover crop I grew was in 2011 and it started as an extension and sustainable agriculture research and education project so this cover crop I grew on 40 acres of land that I at least it was previously in the Conservation Reserve Program and I did the worst thing you could do when you're converting land from CRP back to cropland I took a plow out there and flipped it right on over so that's where I started in my farming career obviously listening to all those 50 and 60 year old farmers but I guess I farmed with a different approach today I guess my history my dad he always had like a 25 head cow herd it's kind of a hobby for him he did construction our tillable acres were rented out so since then I guess I returned home from college and I've been renting the temple acres now and took over the cattle side of the operation as well so back to that first cover crop I grew that fall that I believe if I remember right was barley circumstan grass radishes turnips and field pea cover crop seated in late July grazed September to November and the fun part was weighing the cattle before and after because he get to hopefully catch them and run him through the scale but that year those calves they gained around 2 to 2.1 pounds a day average and so they were still on the cow hadn't been weaned yet but you know that's a very economical gain and the cows maintained or gained weight as well too so how does that apply moving forward so now my goal today is to have two crops on the same piece of ground every year so what does that look like so as as Jay is doing over here I really like planting the winter rye in the fall and you can definitely get some some nice spring grazing out of that another example I've done is planting radishes and turnips after wheat harvest I've done that and successfully graze that you know into October I'm over by Devils Lake sore our average frost date is usually today that happened back in 2011 got a frost and and it took out the circumstance and things like that but you know the radishes and turnips are very cold tolerant that's why it's important to have diversity so even though it was cold that you know parts of that cover crop stayed green and they will stay green basically until it snows every year so they're very good at can economical way to extend the grazing season I've continued weighing cattle as they graze cover crops in the fall and it really did determine that it's determined the weight gained by how you manage the cattle so on cover crops kind of like that millet over there that's you know five feet tall and headed out the gain on the calves it was a little less obviously the the more mature plant is the less nutrition it has so if you have something like this where it's all vegetative you know those those cattle are probably going to do better so that lower gain was a pound and a half so still still a nice game and when you think about that and if you're planting these cover crops after a cash crop or in between however you want to do it you know it's a win-win situation all around so I'd like to move them more but I simply don't have the time to do that every day so my goal would you know be to have more cattle in a smaller area but lately it's you know if I can cross fence the field maybe two or three times so you're cutting pad ox down to at least twenty acres that's where I'm at today I'd like to make that smaller but if you're spending two hours a day moving cattle and putting up fence that takes a lot of time so it just you know how does it work in your system and and so on so I think you raise a good point the available labor that any operation has with that and then some people live to move cattle what works in your operation no you know maybe you're a once-a-day person but maybe your neighbors are once a week person you know you find that you find that balance so you can do it long-term yep and then obviously water source can be an issue to some pieces pieces land don't have water I've hauled water that is doable and I've and we do a lot of water up in that area of the state and the problem I actually run into is we have too many cattails so I've actually had to bring an excavator in and dig out the cattails so I can actually pump water out of the slough because if you have cows wading into the cattails 200 feet that kind of defeats the purpose I think so and then you work off the farm policy I don't anymore no oh so worked as crop consultant out of college and and managing 200 cows in the summer is more fun I guess you know keep it simple is is what I like to recommend it doesn't have that you don't have to have 19 different species in your mix but if you I'd say minimum of three at the very basic level if you have a grass broadleaf and legume that's about as basic as it gets so the summer or you know the summer what I did I had a mix of the oats the peas circumstan the italian ryegrass radishes and sweet clover I think it was and actually what I did with this so it grew up and was still pretty vegetative and I went through and I cut it and I bailed it but those bales are still out in the field and then I cut it high enough so you get the regrowth so instead of topping the cover crop with the cows because they were 20 miles away and I didn't want to have to haul them back and forth I did it mechanically with the baler and the regrowth is out there and now they'll have the cows there this fall so they'll graze regrowth and then you know if it snows or something I've got the bales in the field already and so then I'll just let him eat the bales out in the field and everything stays where where it should be so that idea came from Canada but it works good yeah I think making bales you know we live in the northern plains and so making bales I think it's just part of an operation but if we can decide where to feed the Bale then I think that's that's the big hitter because then you can recycle 90% plus what goes in the front end of that cow is going to come out the back end of the cow and you're gonna maintain that carbon n P and K calcium etc and so we get to catch and release and recycle it and so making a bale is not evil but sometimes where we feed it can be evil and so that's where we want to kind of take a look at is where are we gonna where we're gonna feed those bales if we're on a right period area or you're in a feedlot that's creating a water quality issue then that's probably not a really good place the other thing is doing it the way justin is he's also going to capture the he's gonna capture the nitrogen end of it with the urea but if he was in a feedlot that's gonna pretty much all go to the atmosphere but he's going to capture that yep NRCS they were out that very first year I started so we have the baseline values and obviously you know biologies increase so you've seen more earthworms just as a simple way to tell infiltrations increased I know there's less erosion because there's because there's cover on the field so and where I'd like to go now is testing for the organic nutrients so that'd be your Haney in your Sylvie detest the typical soil test is offering organic so there should be you know I started no-till probably am close to the fourth or fifth year now so there's gonna be the flip flop of going from inorganic to organic nutrients so but I haven't you know been able to track that yet yeah yep another common question I get when there's things with four hubs running around is do you get compaction there's lots of research that says there will be no compaction but last summer was pretty interesting we had like 28 inches of rain up there and we're getting three and four inches of rain out of time and if you have a hundred head of cows in a small area and they get four inches of rain you will probably get some compaction so backup plan is giving big a bigger area so it's not so concentrated you know hopefully they hope hopefully they lay down once they get full instead of continuously walking around and competing for a bite so what if you did it the other way at movement you could do that too yep if you're gonna grease is you're gonna graze these covers like Justin's talking about and let's just say for instance you're gonna graze half wears half say again dude yeah I don't take all the leaves that's something simple you can do is when you cut a plant I just cut that off right above the soil you can actually lay it on your hand and you can find the halfway point okay so right there cuz we're gonna be about where we're at half hang on to that so that's the part I would graze this is the part I would try to trample to the soil surface but you can do that with Sudan or millet you can lay it on your hand cut it off at the bottom lay down your hand balance it and you could cut it in half then it's half my weight is what you're not looking at taking half by height you want half by weight and so consequently which part do you want in the cows room then I think this part is a little bit better okay when we do Daryl and I did all of the protein and energy last summer and all the individual plants we had out here and so we would cut them in half like this and then cuz Darryl and I are really crafty and we wrote top half on that box and wrote bottom half on this one and then we sent them in for analysis and where do you think to a plant which one had more protein and energy to a plant he was higher in the top half there's no law against grazing the bottom half but you are going to put them on a lower plane of nutrition okay a little tidbit of information on this especially with the Train okay that train was pulling old sunshine carbon geologically made old sunshine carbon it was either oil or ethanol most likely in those danker cars either one would be old sunshine carbon what we're dealing with here is new sunshine curve there's a big difference and I think we have to figure out an agriculture how to make new sunshine Carbon work for us yep and actually yeah when Jay mentioned the test results so I did clip a sample a couple years in sentiment NDSU and you know when the cover crop was in the vegetative stage and this was mid-october when I was doing this the relative feed value came out on that is like 164 that's the same as pre but alfalfa and the protein was like eleven and a half percent yeah in middle of October it's it's very good so and then when I mentioned you don't know the gain dropped to a pound and a half on those calves and that relative heat value I think was like 121 so you know it just directly corresponds and that protein was like 9% yep in their lab when your what do you have to show up for class in the morning it's pretty easy the but and I will admit talking about this 50% to leave and graze that's been the hardest part for me you go out and check the cows and you're like I they can have another day or two out here and then you come back in a day or two and you're like holy smokes are hungry so that and that's always my recognition recommendation start grazing earlier than you think you should and move them earlier so if you think you should we've done this a number of times if you want to look at maximum gain and just disregard any other aspect you'd probably move them even quicker because then you're just topping leaves just talking leagues and you probably would have your maximum gain but I think it's a systems approach and there's other items we have so if you can get enough density to get a trample you know and we'll walk over to the livestock here next but if you get a nice density of trample they need to get enough density so they trampled it to the soil surface right yes like when I was running those weight gains that was anywheres there's probably like 90 feeder calves so a big group so you'd have well it was kind of I got a lot of pictures too that are really cool but it I mean so think of this field right behind us he got that millet and stuff that's five feet tall and you send 95 hundred six hundred pound calves in there you can't see him for the first week and he says I hope they're still in there and eventually they will come out and so yeah um you know these are 40 acres is the biggest field that I've probably done I have a lot of 10 and 20 acre fields yep that's a good question I have not the only time really I would be worried about that is if you just plant radishes and turnips is there any bloat with the cattle or digestive problems I mean you might have to wear or turn your windshield wipers on because they do get pretty loose if you walk behind them but I haven't had any issues with the bloat so and if you do have a mix of just radishes and turnips you know put a bale of hay or Bale a straw some sort of roughage out there just to be sure if you're planting it into wheat stubble like you mean they probably can't eat the straw I've kind of found that the cattle will regulate themselves there's a lot of people an ideal situation is they have a late season cover crop like this in corn stubble across the fence and you take the fence out let them go back and forth and that's balanced out yep one's the protein and ones maybe a little more of the fiber if it's available to sow and I I am growing any corn so I haven't seeded into corn no like yeah that last year that was interesting year for us but yeah like 28 inches of rain last year this year we're at 8 so well when you're taking cows to the vet to every other day 4 foot rots it's not that fun so we're getting them stuck in the mud that happens to is real life after all so if somebody had a question over here I saw ok yep I think any time you got diversity and your forage I think we can handle bloat or prussic acid or nitrates or any of those better because they're not they're not grazing a monoculture and so if they have some diversity of plants that's always longer stronger scenario okay let's go ahead did you anything additional here Justin well I just um a lot of a lot of people have concern about fencing to but that can be made simpler I guess you see here just easing the step in posts and one wire guess when I do the custom grazing and and I have somebody strange cattle show up at my place in the spring I put them in a training pen for a day or two so they've touched the fence once and and figure out what it is and then when you I mean that's all I use all summer is just one wire to keep you know hundred cows and calves in at a time but I train them first so again the more diversity you have in the mix again if you're feeding more soil biology to get more things in balance and again higher nutrition for the animals again a more of a balance to do it so I think in the long run to build the soils the more diversity but again it's got to fit your operation and again I guess you're gonna talk about the cattle here yeah where should I ask them questions about them you can ask the questions about them how often are you moving and how big of an area give them I think they've been getting I think they've been getting anywhere from a half acre to three quarters this evening yeah looks like they did a good job with gravity yeah no doubt structure standing yeah they came in here was that this morning Darrell absolutely Tim this afternoon okay so tell me as a group of people if you want to leave half the material how long are they gonna be in there yet 18 head what what's your thoughts day and a half day and three-quarters someone's that's gonna be close isn't it it's gonna be close and it's a judgment call but if you take a look at you know you can't do this you can't do it with that you can't leave etch on your hand and find the midpoint that isn't gonna work but there are other plants in there that you can so it kind of gives you some idea also when you look straight down we don't want to see the soil so when the cattle are done and you're looking straight down if you don't see the soil I think you're you're looking pretty good if he's got some bare soil coming yeah definitely time to move them again this mix with mature oats in there too they can really balance their diet hairy vetch like this is probably 25 to 30 percent protein Wolf's very very high there's an even though it's quite rank already but it's still very nutritious 5:23 I bought it we bought them the 18th of May and we had the cattle in our kind of that small perennial pen with the sheep fence for two days and then when Tim got back we started in that perennial we had we start them in there on quarter acres game day moves and then we just progressed through and these cattle have come a long way they look pretty snazzy right now when they came off the trail or 2 3 I've had to lean together too to keep them up they were they were thin maybe they didn't have pinkeye at the sale barn when we picked them out but they got it shortly afterwards visit distress and we treated them and Tim and I treated it kind of got amazed had some shaggy hair and I mean they were a bargain you know but they're going to turn out now i we weren't able to get the games on our that you weren't able to check the games like we did last year a variety reason you know in the last month month and a half that they've really taken off I changed up with isolated I'd say there we had him on a warm season that you see the other field the crops and then they come here now and the only thing is we probably should have had more right we could have done a better job on a more uniform trample if we'd add few more heads you know if we could have been big ranchers and we could have went to 24 head when he does the soil testing things obviously we're seeing more biology more things occurring under the ground as we get to the water because you can kind of see how we lay out how Tim lays out the patterns and so we get more trampling we get more back up there then we do where they're standing right now and so with a larger herd obviously you can move that needle you know I think with a larger herd and this is just theory we wouldn't see as much difference in the biology between the wider area the paddock versus that narrow area up there when you only have a few head you can pick it out on the biology there's way more biology on this half to narrow half and there is on that half but I think if we got our numbers up a little more I think I think a lot of that would even out a bit do you fence them out of where they came from yeah back fencing and you know that's another that's kind of a judgment call I don't think they're too eager to go back to where they were because you know it's manure it's urine it's trampled they're not too eager to go back but a lot of times I don't only we have every year every time but generally speaking I think we have well I do do it on both we got irrigated pastures arts into a perennial and we do very high school in every day and then on the covers we got a cover about like that and we'll be grazing that I want to agrees that and probably in October November and then I use the pivot as a pivot has a fence but I think that stuff is too tall I won't be able to drag that wire so I may have to swath grazing and then that can run my thing but it holds its nutrition very long that more diversity you have in the mix that the nutrients hold a lot longer again if you put we've got lentils in there we've got hairy vetch turn up so some will be ranked healthy and soybeans those will freeze off so maybe if I swath grades that or swath it right the day before it freezes and it'll hold its nutrients longer to your coffee and soybeans first frost they're there they're done for and they lose their leaves by November late October November raises so then you can get caught in the snow though too last year that happened in the November we just about done grazing so then in the spring the spring we actually just left it we seated on a pebble you see that wheat and then we hate it we're gonna take any last questions at this time it's getting close to dinnertime according to my stomach so any last questions how are you gonna handle this in the spring no well no-till into that with a disc with a disc opener yeah yeah and you know it's you can use the two of the livestock as a tool to manage that residue too if you felt it was too much maybe they need to be in that paddock an extra few hours or an extra half a day you know if you can balance it out you felt you had too much material to work with which is rarely the case but it can be so you can maybe maybe two days wasn't right maybe two days there maybe there's two and a half days and then I think you'd find that balance you know this really goes down to little or nothing because keep in mind what you see over there is the same stand all I did was have a rotary motor go through it it's a lot different looking isn't it so Justin do you got any plans for next the next year that are different anything you're what's in your mind and in the future all it's kind of interesting because last year I planted some in August which I found out it was too early and they seeded some one October and it just really came all the ground stuff that just barely came out on the ground was almost 100 percent stand this spring and the stuff I was here in August was happening so I'll do that and then y'all will be planting green more you ever tried Harry Beth yep the only drawback very much is expensive right that it is and then I can become a weed control issue depending on what your herbicide program is on your table acres if you want to just get it by a spring roundup it's not gonna kill the Harry very great you have to put something else to for definitely a broadleaf yep so if you got a weed problem always treat that first is my advice and then figure out what you're gonna plant that night I was just talking with Jay to earlier this week and I wanted to try winter through the Cayley 45 Center town that I can get ride from the neighbor for $0.10 pounds probably gonna lean them to the Rye a little bit so what are you know we can all in peace yeah I planted the peas right into the green Rises yep raise the right folks think we're gonna close out here let's give Justin [Applause]

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