Bale Grazing to Feed the Herds Above and Below Ground

Thanks to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff in Montana for this helpful article! The last thing most people think about when they see a field full of grazing cattle is what is going on underneath those hooves. Producer Kalyn Bohle has given it some thought. Bohle has land six miles southwest of Plevna, Mont. There, with his wife and three kids, he raises 150 head of black Angus cows. And yes, he thinks about the soil surface and what lies beneath it. “The little herd that’s in the soil - they’ve gotta eat too,” says Bohle. To increase the nutrients in the soil for microorganisms—“the little herd,” as Bohle calls them, Bohle has implemented a management system that includes intensive grazing, bale grazing, and growing cover crops. Bohle started bale grazing three years ago, after learning about its benefits from other producers. “It’s a good way to get nutrients back into the soil and save time and money,” says Bohle. He was convinced that he made the right decision when he noticed in the spring, following his first season of bale grazing, that the vegetation where the bale sat was more productive than the vegetation surrounding it. Bohle provides the same amount of hay for the seven days of the week that he would if he were feeding daily. On the sixth and seventh days of the week, the hay

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One thought on “Bale Grazing to Feed the Herds Above and Below Ground

  1. When I read the title, I thought, yep, that’s Kathy Voth on my favorite subject, soil health. healthy soil. As a kid, I read about Sir Albert Howard, in India and took a strong interest. Healthy soil mean healthy livestock and healthy people.Dr. G. Washington Carver was a hero to many of us. “Get the black back in the soil, and farmers will against be wealthy, as they were in generations past.” One great-grandfather was adamant about never using chemicals, but always build the soil. Because of him, the families kept their horses and did not buy tractors till after he passed away. No chemicals in the soil, and always rotate fields and pasture meant few plant and animal diseases, and few weeds, like pig weed. Much thanks for this.

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