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Rob R

Carbon Capture

SOIL CARBON COWBOYS
oldish chris

Just watched the video. Very interesting, thanks for the link.
Rob R

That's essentially what we do, only with fewer cattle, and fewer acres.
sueshells

Fascinating video.
oldish chris

Although the title was "Soil Carbon Cowboys", the carbon bit was incidental. I think that protein production and water capture was way more impressive.
Cathryn

That's essentially what we do, only with fewer cattle, and fewer acres.


But you have taken it another step because you don't reseed do you?

How much herbicide is used on grassland pasture in this country? (The farmer is still asleep so I can't ask him. )

I wonder if IBERS are working on this. I might go and find out. There seem to be quite a plots of mixed grasses and herbs. I'd like a sack of those seeds.
Cathryn

They seem to dense stock the cattle and then let them back onto an open area? Did I miss a bit in the film? They don't look so squashed in in the longer shots.
Rob R

That's essentially what we do, only with fewer cattle, and fewer acres.


But you have taken it another step because you don't reseed do you?

How much herbicide is used on grassland pasture in this country? (The farmer is still asleep so I can't ask him. )

I wonder if IBERS are working on this. I might go and find out. There seem to be quite a plots of mixed grasses and herbs. I'd like a sack of those seeds.

We reseed some, but most of our grazing land is SSSI so we're not allowed to Smile we don't do it very often, though, and only on certain plots. Not all plots of land are practical to operate this system on (such as the one 14 miles, 1.5 miles off the beaten track, through a wood). It's a lot easier to do if you have either a ring fence or a full time stockman.

You'll have to ask the farmer, as I have no idea on herbicide use, but fertiliser is certainly significant.

We've spent 10+ years with our immediate neighbour laughing at the 'waste of time' of moving electric fences so it's quite nice to see that some electric fences have appeared in the sheep field now his daughters family have taken on the sheep (and more grass at the other side of the fence).
Rob R

They seem to dense stock the cattle and then let them back onto an open area? Did I miss a bit in the film? They don't look so squashed in in the longer shots.

No, I think that's just how it appeared, perhaps because they were ready for moving. Usually they are equal sized paddocks, or at least equal amounts of grass, so the physical size might be different in a variable crop. Also, they may have been on the smaller patch for a shorter period of time (if you're moving them more than twice a day there's bound to be variable amounts of time between moves).
Rob R

Although the title was "Soil Carbon Cowboys", the carbon bit was incidental. I think that protein production and water capture was way more impressive.

You need the carbon to caputre the water, though, that's the key to it all.
Mistress Rose

I got the impression that part of the water capture was because the land wasn't so compacted, and had a variety of plants which were all grazed so didn't form a 'mat' to allow the rain to run off. Seems similar in some ways to the strip grazing that we have been practising in this country for a long time, and makes a lot of sense on the prairies were the rainfall is low in particular because, as it says in the film, it does mimic the movement of the buffalo herds. Rob R

Seems similar in some ways to the strip grazing that we have been practising in this country for a long time,

Similar, yes, in terms of rationing the available sward, but different in terms of poaching and nutrient transfer (and exposure to parasite burdens), as the animals can't return to a particular spot after they have grazed it.
Mistress Rose

I did understand that the cows weren't allowed back onto the grazed area. I suppose with strip grazing, the area they can go in just increases rather than them being move across the field. Certainly it will minimise poaching and concentrate the dung for a short time. Providing a range of plants also seems a good idea. Would we use things like maize for this system in the UK as it is hardly a native, although useful for fodder? Rob R

Would we use things like maize for this system in the UK as it is hardly a native, although useful for fodder?

Perhaps as the lower temperatiure varieties become available they would be better suited to sucessive sowings. We generally sow in May to harvest the maximum yield in October at the correct balance of starch and leaf, but I really have no idea about the feed value of the less mature leaf.

It doesn't really matter what it is that you're growing though, as he said in the film, it's only a weed if they don't eat it and/or it has no feed value, so the crops can change but perennials are better suited than annuals.
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