Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomePasture HealthThe Importance of Residue for Healthy Pastures

The Importance of Residue for Healthy Pastures

Ray Archuleta no-till farmingPasture residue, that ungrazed forage that covers the ground, is what makes the difference between your soil being like a sponge, or more like a cement pad.  With residue, the soil is protected, and so it is ready to absorb moisture when it comes.  Without residue, you might as well be pouring your water into a drainage ditch.

Maintaining cover is also important to holding nutrients in the soil and to preventing our soil from washing off into streams, rivers and other important riparian areas, and the “build-up” of possibly well-intended regulations with unintended consequences.

Here’s a short video featuring Ray, the Soil Guy, Archuleta showing this principle in action. Though he’s talking about tillage versus no-till, the lesson holds true for us graziers as well. It’s part of a series called “Soil Health Lessons In a Minute.” Enjoy!

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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