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A Walk in the Rain Tells You A Lot About Your Pasture’s Health

By   /  February 13, 2017  /  1 Comment

Is your soil and forage healthy and absorbing rain and moisture? Grab your raincoat and talk a walk with Victor Shelton to see what your pasture tells you.

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I usually appreciate rain when we get it, but too often we don’t get it when we need it. I really
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About the author

For more than 25 years, Victor Shelton, Indiana agronomist and grazing specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has provided advice about grazing’s best practices. He travels across the state conducting pasture walks, working one on one with farmers and participating in grazing talks. He also writes a newsletter called "Grazing Bites" as a way to talk about current and seasonal grazing issues and what farmers need to be prepared for.

1 Comment

  1. Curt Gesch says:

    I have a question about this sentence: “A one percent increase in organic matter in the soil can increase the water holding capacity of that soil to the tune of about 14,000 gallons of water.” Is this per acre? Could you send me the research on this, please? (Question asked from the viewpoint of a sympathetic reader, not at all critical.)

    A comment about “Areas that are torn up under wet winter conditions will usually have poor forage production the next year and are subject to invasion of weeds that love disturbance, high nutrients and organic matter. These fields often require establishment of new forage to be productive again.” I make it a practice to topseed all pugged or heavily-trodden areas on my small farm with red clover, low-coumarin yellow sweet clover, and a little orchard grass. It works on the sacrifice fields, too. If trefoil is desired, “fling it on”; my goal is no bare spots in the field.

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