Monday, November 20, 2006

Winter Annuals

Conspiring with one of my neighbors last weekend we planted some winter annuals on parts of both our places.

We planted by simply broadcasting seed on pastures that had been deliberately over grazed this fall. Then we used a drag to try and cause better seed soil contact. We planted equal parts oats, rye grass and wheat.

They tell me that we should have done this a bit earlier according to the University studies. Considering we have had no rain since I was a good bit younger (or so it seems) I don’t see how it could matter.

Now we just have to wait and see what happens. If we do get rain I expect the resulting growth will help a lot in the early spring. Otherwise we just spread so much birdseed.

You pay your money and you take your chances, that’s farming.

This is the first time I’ve tried to do this, but it’s something that was commonly done in the area when farms were more self-sufficient than they are now.

It was also very common to make hay on a small scale the way I am doing it. These days most of the cattle farms just buy hay. This year there was a drought year and there is no hay to buy.

There will be a lot of brood cows going to market before spring.

We have hay, enough to get us through even if the winter annuals don’t perform well, barley. This is not because I’m smarter than most, but just because I like old hay equipment and doing things the way the old folks did them.

It’s better to be lucky than good.

1 comment:

Walter Jeffries said...

We fall seed too. First we mob graze the area, then take the animals out, seed it, put the animals back in so they trample the seed, then remove them. Next June it will be wonderfully growing with the new species of plants. Works great - we've been doing this for years, against the advice of the ag people.