Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Northern Hemisphere field “Mud Season”

A lot of talk this spring regarding the annual Northern Hemisphere field “Mud Season”. Most folks in pasture forum circles and elsewhere are already aware of the general concepts governing rotational grazing and its various variant names and protocols; the broad concept of intense but short duration herd exposure to grass for the purpose of allocating pasture grass to grazing animals.

One of the solutions historically advocated utilized by The Elysian Fields and Pasture Project, switches the design equation involving animal, grass and time around a small fraction to derive a production model whereby the animal stays relatively “in place” where it is and the “Product Crop” harvesting equipment moves to or very near the involved herd to obtain the crop. In dairy production models this means moving the dairy milking apparatus equipment to the pasture and so to follow the herd; the same with abattoir functions in meat production, etc. The entire pasture super system is so designed to support the effort to take production out of phase with the norm in an effort to further minimize costs and maximize net profit while maintaining as natural a field presence as can be designed into the system. These systems anticipate fowl seasonal weather events, marginal field conditions, logistics, etc. It purposely makes it a task to assume nothing, solve for what can be planned - not what has been, and in so doing removes the drama associated with more traditional - less competitive systems not entirely so designed.


Royal A. Purdy
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