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Old 07-01-2008, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,313 posts, read 50,644,532 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tambre View Post
Wow, that's alot of calves on a five acre pasture. Did he practice rotational grazing...letting one section of pasture get grazed down, then moving them on to the next? That grass must have been growing like crazy to keep up with the demands of all those calves.
Oh yes.

Roughly 1.5 acre fields of pure clover. Every two weeks irrigated with one foot of water. Then you must not allow cattle onto that field for two days after the irrigation. Freshly irrigated clover will bloat cattle.

This is fairly common practice in the central valley.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:27 AM
 
418 posts, read 1,067,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Okay fine.

I recalled in college them talking about how the average BLM land that is rented to cattlemen, is rated at 40 acres per head.

Looking up now it appears that about the best is 4 head per acre.

So a range of: 1 head per 40 acres, to 4 head per acre.

Happy?
It depends on the state. My uncle has 13,000 acres in New Mexico. He does good to keep 200 cow/calf pairs on it.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:49 AM
 
Location: central oregon coast
208 posts, read 791,474 times
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Default word of advice

Do not get all the cute pets 1st!!! People will be dumping every animal they can't feed on you so you can worry about feeding it or vet bills.They will even sneak up and dump it if they think they can.Horses,minihorses,burro's all need attention of a horseshoer (farrier) if only to get their feet trimmed + winter hay and supplements.Lots of people are giving animals away because they found out out how big the feed bill is or the vet bill.Start small,just enough for your family and to pay the butcher.You will make more money off a simple hoop house raising heirloom tomato's,horseradish,sweet peppers or melons and selling at a farmers market then on most anything else.1 barn cat (spayed or neutered) 1 dog who doesn't chase livestock!!,2 feeder pigs and 2 feeder steers.No sheep or goats or mini animals that require heavy duty fencing.You will bless me after your second year.I raised small zebra finches and white doves for weddings,sold birdcages I bought for wholesale,and made a fortune on a horseradish sauce that would rip your head off (guys will pay big bucks for real hot,fresh horseradish).Small farmholds that do well these days have some type of niche specialty item.Why do you think small farms go under? Stay focused on feeding the family and one small inexpensive project for the 1st year.My neighbor sells tomato plants every spring and makes 1000 dollars but the seed,dirt and used pots cost her 50.00.She then starts flowers to sell with her produce.She has regular customers.Don't buy a tractor until you know what you are doing!!! Rent a neighbor and his tractor to do your initial work,boy will you learn a lot from him!! Look at every dollar you don't spend as supplemental income.Staying calm and focused when you want to explode into a dozen,fun,interesting projects is tough but will really reduce your stress level and keep your money in your pocket.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
2,503 posts, read 5,646,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocoldiron View Post
Do not get all the cute pets 1st!!! People will be dumping every animal they can't feed on you so you can worry about feeding it or vet bills.They will even sneak up and dump it if they think they can.Horses,minihorses,burro's all need attention of a horseshoer (farrier) if only to get their feet trimmed + winter hay and supplements.Lots of people are giving animals away because they found out out how big the feed bill is or the vet bill.Start small,just enough for your family and to pay the butcher.You will make more money off a simple hoop house raising heirloom tomato's,horseradish,sweet peppers or melons and selling at a farmers market then on most anything else.1 barn cat (spayed or neutered) 1 dog who doesn't chase livestock!!,2 feeder pigs and 2 feeder steers.No sheep or goats or mini animals that require heavy duty fencing.You will bless me after your second year.I raised small zebra finches and white doves for weddings,sold birdcages I bought for wholesale,and made a fortune on a horseradish sauce that would rip your head off (guys will pay big bucks for real hot,fresh horseradish).Small farmholds that do well these days have some type of niche specialty item.Why do you think small farms go under? Stay focused on feeding the family and one small inexpensive project for the 1st year.My neighbor sells tomato plants every spring and makes 1000 dollars but the seed,dirt and used pots cost her 50.00.She then starts flowers to sell with her produce.She has regular customers.Don't buy a tractor until you know what you are doing!!! Rent a neighbor and his tractor to do your initial work,boy will you learn a lot from him!! Look at every dollar you don't spend as supplemental income.Staying calm and focused when you want to explode into a dozen,fun,interesting projects is tough but will really reduce your stress level and keep your money in your pocket.
Hi Nocoldiron,

Thanks for your insights We will proceed slowly and carefully. Good advice for a newbie farmer.
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Old 07-01-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
2,503 posts, read 5,646,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvermouse View Post
It depends on the state. My uncle has 13,000 acres in New Mexico. He does good to keep 200 cow/calf pairs on it.
Hi Silvermouse,

Those cattle must have to wear jogging shoes to eat their way across 13,000 acres, or is just part of the land grazable? I heard that in Missouri the ratio was somewhere like 3 acres/cow, but that may be unrealistic. What do you think? Tambre
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Old 07-02-2008, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,760 posts, read 55,965,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"Some areas of the nation have a carrying capacity of 1 head of cattle per 40 acres [meaning that it takes 40 acres to sustainably produce enough calories to maintain one beef animal].

Other areas of the nation have a carrying capacity of 20 head of cattle per acre."

I think you meant to say 2 head of cattle, unless you were talking about teenie weenie cattle. An acre is 640' x 640' and might support a cow and her calf during the summer months, with a bit of added rations. 20 head per acre is a feedlot.
Adding to the above post, I just came across this site that gives the soil type and carrying capacity for various crops and pasture.

Web Soil Survey - Home

The terms are a little more complex than most folks are used to, but the ability to zoom in on a plot of land, find the soil type, pH, and farmability is pretty amazing. I found our land in mostly Dickson and Baxter cherty clay loam, and I could expect 75 to 90 bu of corn per acre on parts of it.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
2,503 posts, read 5,646,533 times
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Default Needleye silt loam/cutbank caves

Hi Harry,

THANKS

Checked out the soil survey site....wouldn't you know that the exact place where we decided to build our house on the land in Missouri, is on something called needleye silt loam, and for some reason is considered unbuildable for basements and somewhat buildable for slabs. My dh is ready to kill me, saying that I am being alarmist, and there is always going to be something wrong if you look hard enough. Guess I'll calm down and call the cooperative extension to see if they have any advice. T.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,760 posts, read 55,965,315 times
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Odd. I had a work acquaintance who bought a home in Missouri and later had SEVERE cracking of the slab and settling. Wonder if it was built on the same stuff. He said that during the wet season, the ground just turned to mud, and if it got wet under the house, he was hosed. With soil like that, I'd consider driven piers, reinforced footers, and then primitive piers on top that could be adjusted periodically to compensate for settlement. We don't have to worry about that here, our footers rest on a chert ledge.

The difference in what can be researched online now vs the hoops you had to go through thirty years ago to get similar information is amazing. That website is one of the better aspects of today's technology.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Not on the same page as most
2,503 posts, read 5,646,533 times
Reputation: 1558
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Odd. I had a work acquaintance who bought a home in Missouri and later had SEVERE cracking of the slab and settling. Wonder if it was built on the same stuff. He said that during the wet season, the ground just turned to mud, and if it got wet under the house, he was hosed. With soil like that, I'd consider driven piers, reinforced footers, and then primitive piers on top that could be adjusted periodically to compensate for settlement. We don't have to worry about that here, our footers rest on a chert ledge.

The difference in what can be researched online now vs the hoops you had to go through thirty years ago to get similar information is amazing. That website is one of the better aspects of today's technology.

I just spoke to the builder out there, and he said that it would be okay, and that the soil survey make most of Missouri out to be unbuildable and ungrowable. I checked out the neighbor's land, and they have a house on a different kind of unbuildable soil, and it is not a recently built house from the looks of it. He is really honest, well respected and has lots of experience, and would most likely would be able to discern if the soil was different than he expected, (which is typically clay and rocks when you get down a few feet.)

I tried the local cooperative extension, and e-mailed a soil geologist, but so far no reply. We are only building the driveway right now, so there is a little breathing room until the experts chime in. Boy am I grateful for the information from that site, thanks again.
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Old 07-07-2008, 09:18 AM
 
418 posts, read 1,067,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tambre View Post
Hi Silvermouse,

Those cattle must have to wear jogging shoes to eat their way across 13,000 acres, or is just part of the land grazable? I heard that in Missouri the ratio was somewhere like 3 acres/cow, but that may be unrealistic. What do you think? Tambre
Ha! They have to cover all of it to get enough to eat. He does move them around though.

I think I'm the one that told you 3 acres/animal unit. I think a bull = 3 animal units and a cow/calf pair = 2 units and a steer = 1 unit. Don't quote me on that. The extension can tell you for sure.
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