Holistic Management: What do you do to recover an overgrazed paddock?

Graeme Hand is talking about a quick way of assessing the paddock and says that if you did throw the pencil in the padock, overwhelming you’d find that you hit the soil more than anything else.

You would hit some perennials, wouldn’t you? So yeah, you would get some that you’d hit a perennial grass, some of the grasses here and you’d get some in there but I bet there’s no litter. There’s an absence of litter apart from the hay and stuff.

We need, if we’re going to do this in a profitable way, we need to grow the litter in situ. It’s too expensive to move carbon around in the environment, both in terms of fossil fuel and the actual cost of it so the soil would be capped. But like overwhelmingly, in most soils, unless it’s a self-mulching soil where you lift it, you’ll get a cap. It’s that cap that stops the air and the water getting in. So if it’s bare, it’s capped, it’s usually pretty clear. There is some soil types, the sandy types, and the self-mulchers. But what we’re doing in here so — what I’d say to people is you’ve got to make a decision:

Are you going to let this grow or do you need to impact it first?

Overwhelmingly, it’s capped but there are enough plants in here to let it grow. So if it was all capped and all bare, you might come in with the animals and get them just to start to loosen that cap and you do this in staged way. You don’t just sort of break the cap everywhere because now it’s a risk of wind and water erosion. So you just start gently on it and the animals actually do like a twisting action like that. So they start and look a bit like that after they come out and then hopefully you’d get something to start germinating and establishing

This clip is a sneak peek of our “Walk the Talk” March 2014 filming from the An Overview of Biological Farming workshop.
‘Walk the Talk’ filming is one of the benefits of becoming a Farming Secrets member – see more benefits here: http://farmingsecrets.com/join/

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