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Connecting the dots

Livestock management determines erosion

Alan Newport erosion in pasture
This pasture has been grazed many years in a manner that allows erosion to outpace soil formation.
Erosion is a natural occurrence, but you can have too much of a bad thing.

Moving livestock is one of my favorite jobs on the farm.

It’s especially enjoyable once the grass is growing faster than the animals can keep up with it. I normally stock where I don’t have to feed much hay but this was a year where I fed more than normal. We had a mild winter but I just didn’t have the grass to last.

I always hate rutting up fields with the tractor. I left some “salvage paddocks” and the cows had really grubbed it to the dirt. We have been getting quite a lot of rain lately and seeing these fields and ruts without cover always makes me feel just a bit guilty about the soil which might be eroding.

However, we have noticed the water that does come off our fields seems to be a lot more clear than our neighbors. It never ceases to amaze me how quick nature heals itself.

Erosion is a natural occurring thing that happens all over the world in all environments, but we should keep it to a minimum and increase our soil formation rate through good management so there is not a net loss.

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