How Does Cover Cropping Increase Your Profits?
Gabe Brown continues….
What do I do with that cover crop then?
Once it’s up and growing. I’ll convert it to dollars in a number of ways.
We raise grass finish beef. It’s not difficult at all to get three plus pounds of gain per head per day while we’re grazing these warm season cover crop mixes. Brown midrib sorghum Sudan is a C4 grass, meaning it has an extra carbon molecule. It’s going to be higher in energy. Livestock select for energy. We’re going to be able to put on really good gains on that type of a forage. What we really like to do is graze it while it’s living. If we do that, if a plant is grazed while it’s living, it’s going to send signals to its roots. “Hey, I was injured, we need to send out more root exudates to attract biology so we can regrow.” By doing that, you’re cycling more carbon, you’re pumping carbon into the soil.
In visiting with Colin and Graeme and Annabel yesterday, I found out you guys have a carbon credit programme. This is one way to pump more carbon into the soil. Graze living plants and do it in a way that’s healthy for the ecosystem and the animal. We’re making money while we’re regenerating the resource, which is a good thing. We found on our operation we can actually make more money grazing livestock than we can with most of our cash crops. If you do it in the correct manner, rotate those livestock through, allow for recovery, pump that carbon into the soil, it’s going to be highly profitable to do so.
This just shows you these livestock are ready for the next move. We don’t want them to consume everything. They’re only going to take the choicest bites and then move on and then we’ll allow recovery time. That’s the kind of armour we like to leave. You do not see bare soil.
So many people say, “Ah Gabe, but they’re wasting all that.”
They’re not wasting any of that. That’s carbon that’s going to be cycled
into the system.
I’m feeding my soil because it’s the soil that provides me a living.