This year was a breakout year for our custom grazing operation using cows in a mob. I will admit that the conditions were almost optimally perfect. Rainfall came in a timely fashion, there were no real “gulley-washers,” the temperatures were not overly hot. This was the first year our total farm was certified organic, so we were able to graze all 50 acres with certified organic cows. I noticed the following:
- Legumes grew everywhere, giving the cows a very diversified palette from which to choose from. Bear in mind: we initially planted no legumes at all. These plants grew from seed that has been in the soil for a long time.
- The last 16 acres that we finally converted over to certified organic are going to need some work. Based upon soil tests that I’ve done over the years, I can see how the spreading of compost and grazing has positively impacted soil fertility. However, this increase in fertility doesn’t come immediately – it takes time.
- The extremely long and cold winter of 2013-2014 really impacted grass in some areas. We had some bare spots on areas that were grazed very late into the fall – giving a short time for the roots to regrow.
All in all, we’ve never grazed this many cows so by in large mob grazing and planned rotations seems to be working well