Grass update….

by David

Thistlehill Farm Grass

We’ve never gone into the fall and winter with this much reserve grass. It’s called stockpiling and Church is stockpiling about 70 acres which is just over half our total acreage. The best I ever managed was about 40 acres.

This field was underwater the first part of the year. We think it’s switchgrass…a native grass that does particularly well with “wet feet”. An adjacent pasture with reed canary grass handled the flooding but not this well.

The trick now is to get it consumed while it’s in this nutritious stage. Eventually it will probably grow to about 8 feet and be unpalatable.

But for now it takes the pressure off our fescue which actually improves in nutrition and palatability after a good frost.

With hay at $100 a ton this is a serious business and not a game. The basic idea is to lengthen the grazing season as much as possible.

Church credits the unusually wet spring and more rigorous strip grazing for this year’s improvement. We’re also considering seeding some winter annuals including turnips and radishes.

Can we make March 1st?