Back to Homepage

Shepherd note: May 24, 2016 by Byron Palmer

Late in the grazing season just reflecting on the amount of grass we grew this year despite feeling overstocked in February and March. We originally planned for having 25 Animal Days to the Acre from December to February 15th when we planned on getting a second load of cattle. However the stockpile we had going into winter quickly revealed it was only going to get 10 animal days to the acre. We ended up grazing the entire hilltop 1000 acres to compensate for the error in the estimation of ADA’s as opposed to the 300 or so acres we planned to graze from December to February and we ended up back at the beginning of our rotation February 7th. We were notable to take more cattle at the time as we planned. However by April it was clear that we were understocked by a great deal and now the property which we worried was stunted earlier in the season is pumping out material. A quick reflection on lessons:

  1. In winter it is hard to get more then 10 ADA’s in stock piled forage on the mountain top
  2. The grass comes on later up to maybe shoot for a second rotation on March 15th after having grazed the stockpiled forage, as well as more animals sometime between March 15th – April 1

It will be interesting to see how the land responds after having so much more material these past seasons stockpiled and trampled in.