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About This Time Each Year

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

December 25, 2021

Good Morning and hello from your farmer,

About this time each year our warm season grasses have been grazed down and our cool season grasses have not matured enough to start grazing.

Early October marks the end of the growing season for warm season varieties like Bahia Grass. However, because Bahia grass is an excellent stockpiled grass we can extend our grazing season typically into early November. It really depends on how much rain we start getting in November.

As you know, our Spring and Summer were very wet. It was so wet that much of the work we wanted (needed) to do in our pastures was delayed.

October is harvest month and is typically dry. This lets the row croppers harvest the corn, soybeans, cotton, and peanuts from their fields before the rains come.

This year the dry period has been extended. Our farm has only had one rain since early October. Needless to say it is dry here and has negatively affected our cool season forages that were drilled into the soil behind the cows grazing them down.

Our grazing management is based on the principle of "Adaptive Grazing". Maybe I can write about this sometime later.

There is a positive! Because it has been dry longer we have been able to extend the grazing of stockpiled grasses from the summer. You see, wet and humid conditions will spoil summer grasses when the growing season ends making them useless for the cows.

That is why we purchase hay - to bridge the gap between the end of grazing stockpiled grasses and the time when our cool season forages will be mature enough for grazing.

Several years ago I made a short video of how (and why) we feed our cows hay. While this is an older video the process and principles are the same.

This link will take you to the video. We hope you enjoy and have a better understanding of how we steward the land and animals to bring your family healthy and nutritious beef, pork, chicken, and eggs.

We wish y'all God's blessings this Thanksgiving holiday as you get together with family & friends.

As always, thank you for rewarding our hard work with your trust and support.

More from the blog

Farm Visitors

Since we started selling via our online store in 2016, the number of visitors to our farm increased. Then, building the on-farm USDA poultry plant in 2019 spurred a lot of interest from folks who were interested in raising pastured poultry and were looking for a way around the MS Department of Ag regulation limiting the number of chickens per farm to only 1,000 per year. Most of the folks visiting were potential customers looking for naturally raised meats to feed their families.

Farmer Musings!

Beth & I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving - and turkey if you purchased one our our pastured turkeys. For our family the turkey did not disappoint. I spatchcocked (removed the backbone) so the turkey would lay flat. Beth then brined it for a day before smoking. It turned out tasty and juicy. Before our Thanksgiving meal each of us shared something we were thankful for. Beth's sister Debra shared the following:

A Day Processing Ground Beef!

Overall rain this week on our farm was about ONE inch! Not a lot in the big scheme of things, but very appreciated. It was enough to make a difference for our winter grass as you can see from this picture. In some areas of other pastures it appears that the seedlings died after germinating back in October. An observation that the heavy dews was not enough to keep them alive.