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Winter Stockpile Grazing’s Final Chapter (Or Is It?)

By   /  January 19, 2015  /  6 Comments

Troy has finished with his stockpile grazing for this season. Here he shares how many days he made it, and talks about lessons learned and the questions he’s asking to help him prepare for next year.

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Editors Note: This is the last in this series, but the story will certainly continue into the future
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About the author

contributor

Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is a seasoned grazier and grasslands advocate who owns, manages and linger-grazes at Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters, grandchildren and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raise dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased pastures. Troy also mentors farmers on holistic land management for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. This award-winning free-lance writer, essayist and photographer maintains a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com

6 Comments

  1. Kathy Voth says:

    Troy, we got this comment and these questions on our Facebook page from Mike Wallace. Could you respond?

    In the video there appeared to be considerable residual forage on the pasture. I am taking this to mean he has not fed any hay to this point, but will leave the stock on these pastures for the rest of the winter with supplementally fed hay. Is that true, and if so what percent of their diet does he expect to feed as hay/get from the residual? Also, will he continue to rotate through these paddocks, or will the stock be allowed to free will grazing?

    • Troy Bishopp says:

      Hey Mike, If you go back to through my series, you’ll find some of the answers. The residual you saw was the last bit of grazeable forage. I did feed one bale of hay from December 8th through Jan. 1st in addition to the stockpile.

      The farm is now grazed off and I am wintering cattle on planned paddocks that contain woods or hedgerows for shelter. They are on full baleage and hay now. Since its frozen with snow cover it makes for awesome wintering with no mud. At the onset of mud season I’ll be looking to keep them in my sacrifice areas until good grass becomes available.

  2. Troy Bishopp says:

    Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you are attaining a higher level of understanding about the realities of grazing management. It flatters me that you see I’m trying to help all farmers improve their bottom line and land management. Next year it will be your turn. Thanks again to my mentor, Jim Gerrish for inspiring me to change.

  3. Scott Alsworth says:

    Troy you and this series are an inspiration ! I have looked forward to every update, and find myself enthusiastically running to my chart and trying to plot the 2015 grazing season to achieve that January goal. It has really made me focus on REST and got the gears working in the cranium. Thank you !

  4. Troy, your series helped us a lot as we jumped into stockpiling this winter. We had the benefit of being understocked, which hurt us in the growing season, but gave us a lot more leeway this winter while we learned. Following along with your planning, challenges and ultimately success with this project was really encouraging. Thanks so much. And don’t quit walking daily now that you’ve gotta ride the ‘diesel wheelchair’, as my old boy neighbour calls his tractor!

  5. Jim Hayes says:

    The cattle looked good.Thanks for all your efforts.

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