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The Importance of Residue for Healthy Pastures

By   /  April 1, 2013  /  Comments Off on The Importance of Residue for Healthy Pastures

Want all that moisture to stay in your pasture? Make sure you protect the soil by leaving plenty of residue.

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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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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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