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#3027258 - 11/11/12 07:57 AM Help me with my farm
8 Point

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 1376
Loc: Blount CountyTN ya know over n...

We own a working cattle farm and we have deer, turkey, bears and hogs that travel though it but, nothing that really sticks around. I could do without the hogs but, that's another issue for later. I am wanting to improve my farm for the cattle as well as for the wildlife and I'm looking for and open to many ideas but, the key factor has to be things that work well with both cattle AND wildlife.

Here are some pictures of the property and what it has on it now.
The first picture is of our bottoms that we use for hay. It is a mix of red clover, fescue, bermuda, timothy, and johnson grass. The johnson grass is taking over and the bermuda is (amazingly) dying off. The problem that we have is that sections of these bottoms stays wet until late in the year so ground tillage and planting would have to be for a grass that would grow in the warmer months. ***Remember whatever goes in here has to also produce enough hay for the cattle in the winter months.

Now, the HWY is an issue in that the field is visiable and there are poaching issues. My solution to that is using fast growing "screening" trees to block out the view from the road and make it so that in order to see into the field they will have to park on the side of the road and walk into the field.

The next picture is the 60 acre home place. We want to move to rotational grazing of our cattle, meaning more fencing and forcing the cattle to eat the area off before moving them to another section giving the plants time to regrow. We also have 10 acres of open hardwoods and there is little to none undergrowth. It's my thinking that by fencing these woods off the undergrowth will come back and this can be used as browsing and cover for wildlife. Once established I can rotate the cattle through as well to allow them to browse allowing some time off the pasture in the hotter months.

And here is what my plan of attack looks like so far.

This next picture is of the new ground we just purchased. It's 15 acres that adjoins us on the backside. This is "my project land" meaning .. lets make it a paridise. I don't plan on running cattle on it but, I would like it to compliment the farm. The 7 acre hill top field will for the most part be planted in a clover and alfalfa mix. I'll maintain and square bale this as a top qualitiy hay for the cows once they start to calve.

I would like to push the tree line back (light blue out lined area)and plant 6-8 rows of corn or other crop.

I am open to ideas and as many thoughts as everyone has.

If not for bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all.

#3027430 - 11/11/12 09:47 AM Re: Help me with my farm [Re: blountcountyboy]
10 Point

Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 4102
Loc: Hardin, Co.

I would use a lot of clovers in the pastures. That way the deer will use it when the cows are not.
" Some localities are willing to work for their sport, and have plenty. Others are willing merely to take what comes easy, and have little or none." - Aldo Leopold

#3028485 - 11/11/12 08:57 PM Re: Help me with my farm [Re: 8 POINTS OR BETTER]
diamond hunter
6 Point

Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 927
Loc: Goodlettsville Tennessee USA

I would use winter rye often.
John Hancock,diamond hunter

#3028511 - 11/11/12 09:16 PM Re: Help me with my farm [Re: diamond hunter]
16 Point

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 16954
Loc: Allardt, TN

The NRCS has tons of info out about using Native Warm Season Grasses ffor cattle.
-QDM=Better Deer, Better Deer Hunting
-Let Him Go, So He Can Grow

#3043271 - 11/21/12 07:47 AM Re: Help me with my farm [Re: smstone22]
4 Point

Registered: 07/11/11
Posts: 394
Loc: Humphreys County, TN

I agree with smstone22 that warm season grasses are a good addition to your meadows. They provide summer growth for your cattle that cool season grasses don't and maybe some cover until cut.
#3050031 - 11/26/12 03:59 PM Re: Help me with my farm [Re: treefarmer]
Hunter 257W
10 Point

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3522
Loc: Franklin County

Your idea of using the clover alfalfa mix for hay is a good one in my experience. Two years ago I planted 4 acres of Whitetail Institutes "Alfa Rack" as a feeding plot. Unfortunately the alfalfa grows so fast that it will fall over on itself and die out if left unmaintained. That's why I wouldn't recommend it for a hunter who doesn't have hay equipment. Sure, he could mow it but what that does is leave a tremendous amount of chopped hay covering your plants. If you can't remove all that, you are mulching your entire food plot and it will soon be bare. But if you bale it, you constantly have new tender growth coming on AND you make some money too. Should be able to sell the hay around $4/bale and make 30 or so bales per acre for the early cuttings. 3 or 4 cuttings a year.

I wouldn't let the cows in the woods at all - ever. Cows are like bulldozers crossed with the Tasmanian Devil. They'll strip the woods so bare that deer will run when passing through and never linger there. We used to let cows in areas that we wanted cleaned out. They would turn inpenetrable briar thickets into bare dirt while gaining nothing in the way of nutrition from it. They are just stomping around staying in the shade.

I too am intending to plant some native grass - Switch Grass - but know next to nothing about grazing it. I just like the promise it has as a good Winter cover for deer.

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