Category: Pasture

Questions About Poisonous Pasture Plants

Toki Oshima drawing By Jacki Perkins I’ve received a few questions this summer about the effects of poisonous pasture plants on livestock. Here are my responses, along with a reference to a longer article on the subject in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Q: How much should I worry about my livestock eating poisonous

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Pasture Management Tips

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Deciding how to rotate pastures on your farm can be confusing! You have to consider many stable factors, such as soil type and slope of the land, and shifting factors, such as the amount of feed in the field at a given time and the weather. Many resources are available to

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Evaluating Sericea Lespedeza and Big Trefoil

Goats grazing lespedeza at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Goats grazing big trefoil at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Pots of lespedeza (left) and trefoil planted by Jean Noon. Photo by Jean Noon Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Diane Schivera Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Jean Noon Lespedeza regrowth

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Water hemlock, Cicuta maculata Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana Lupines, Lupinus spp. Rhododendron spp. Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca St. Johnswort, Hypericum perforatum Yews, Taxus spp. By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Jean English photos If a pasture has enough palatable plants to eat, livestock will generally avoid the poisonous plants. But livestock are individuals, and there are

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By Diane Schivera Eating livestock products can benefit our health and the environment, particularly when the animals are raised eating a pasture-based diet. More and more research is establishing this viewpoint. At MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference last March, Joel Salatin from Polyface Farm in Virginia addressed these benefits as well as the profitability of raising

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The Benefits of Raising Animals on Pasture

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Diane Schivera Editor’s note: Our understanding of the benefits of raising animals on pasture continues to accumulate, so Diane Schivera has updated this article that she originally wrote for the Dec. 2001-Feb. 2002 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Grass feeding benefits the health of the grazing animals;

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By Diane Schivera I wanted Maine grass farmers to know that MOGFA, Cooperative Extension, Unity Barnraisers and a group of farmers received a SARE grant to establish the Maine Grassfarmers Network. We began to work on the following objectives in May: 1. Four regional workshops will be held in Maine for Cooperative Extension educators, Maine

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Foraging Behavior

by Diane Schivera I attended two sessions presented by Frederick Provenza at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) conference this January. Both concerned ruminant eating and foraging behavior and biological reasons for this behavior. In the introduction to his book, Provenza says, “Our work has shown how simple strategies that use knowledge of behavior

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Revitalizing Old Fields for Pasture and Hay

by Diane Schivera When fields are neglected: Perennial weeds begin to appear, Woody species invade, Soil becomes acidic, Frost brings large rocks to the surface. When looking for ways to return fields to production, always start with methods that are most likely to succeed and are least costly. The least costly and most environmentally sound

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