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Extending the Grazing Season With Bamboo

By   /  February 6, 2017  /  5 Comments

Cairncrest Farm in West Winfield, New York is experimenting with Bamboo as a forage to extend their grazing season. Here’s the ins and outs of their field trial along with some video of cows grazing bamboo in a snowy pasture.

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“There is no one I’d rather farm with.” brothers Edmund and Garth said of each other. Our two
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About the author

Edmund Brown and his family live in upstate New York where they raise beef cattle, pastured pigs, and a few sheep. He enjoys learning about techniques to improve his grazing management skills.

5 Comments

  1. Oogie McGuire says:

    Both links to the blog get page not found errors. Could you update with corrected links please?

  2. James Cropper says:

    Bamboo is highly invasive so if using it as a pasture forage keep it away from property lines as your neighbor will be mighty upset someday once it gets a toehold on their property. Bamboo rhizomes are not easily stopped by the typical border barriers. They can penetrate most barriers easily. The quackgrass of trees. Quackgrass rhizomes will go right through a potato tuber as straight as an arrow, because it is arrow-like.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Edmund was concerned about invasiveness as well. See if this part of the article addresses your concerns:

      “This is not a concern for us because unlike all the other eurasian pasture plants we encourage in our pastures (clovers, orchard grass, etc), bamboo does not spread by seed. To eliminate a clump all it would take is intentional overgrazing. Put livestock on during the shooting season and bamboo will run out of gas pretty quickly. Without a good long rest period (months or more) the stand will not persist under grazing/browsing pressure. In fact, this is a point the authors of the North Carolina study noted. During the course of their observations the grove vigor declined and the cattle ate virtually all of the tender new shoots. The study ended before the grove died completely, but it was apparent to us that eradication of the bamboo was going to occur if cattle continued to be set-stocked on it at the rate they used.”

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