Tuff Love….

Swath grazing Red Proso Millet

If you are a Mappin cow today, you are feeling quite sorry for yourself as it’s clean-up day on the bale-grazing. The day where the cows wander the fence, snuffle through the left-overs, all the while quite indignant that they are forced to rummage for feed. It’s the day we call ‘Tuff love day’ around the ranch, as the cows look mournful even as they are napping in their leftovers.
We have been bale-grazing cows for about 5 years, give or take, and absolutely love it! The cow herd is fed for several days, the manure is spread, and no tractors are needed. The best part is driving the pickup out once a day to drop mineral and check the nose-pump hasn’t froze up (so far so good!…Thank you Frost-Free-Nosepumps!) which takes a total of about 10 minutes.
Actually, I am corrected-the best part about bale grazing is the land’s reaction to it the following years. With all the manure spread out on the land, combined with the grass seed that is tramped in from the bales, what a great way to add nutrients to the soil and rejuvinate grass that is in need.
We bale graze in the back 40 where the neighbours can’t see it-for the most part I think our neighbours think us a little odd-chase cows round n round all summer (cell grazing) and let cows demolish and waste 30 big rounds at a time (again, nutrients, organic matter right back into the soil)…but the land is happier, the grass is thicker and greener following years.
Everyone’s happy.
Except the cows today.  They are getting some tough love-but don’t feel too bad, ’cause tomorrow is buffet-world-onto a new field of millet swath-grazing!

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