Wednesday, 28 November 2018

...no comfortable feel in any member...

Suddenly sheep and cows are the worst things ever, the work of old Nick himself. I don't do numbers,so won't compare emissions from livestock versus vehicles and planes,but I contend that any carbon or methane produced by grazing stock comes from, and returns to, the environment in terms of replenishment of soil reserves,whereas the burning of fossil fuels liberates long sequestered elements to drive climate change.

On this farm we are aiming to enhance the soil's organic fraction by the use of well rotted farmyard manure, and by a form of rotational grazing whereby the cattle graze say a quarter of an acre per day:this area is then rested for around six weeks, allowing time for the grass to grow back,and the fraction trodden in by the cattle to be incorporated in the topsoil. In time, the soil's improved capacity to adsorb sudden heavy rainfall will aid the improvement of water quality in the river system.

Even in a dry summer such as this, we had plenty of grass for our cattle, and have been able to graze right through the autumn. Varying grass lengths have made for a rather untidy looking farm,but this is a small trade-off  against the benefits to the wider environment.

To further improve things, we are thinking about strategically planting trees, both in groups and rows,to provide shelter and shade ,and wildlife corridors linking existing habitats.
This was back in July,to cheer us up on a grim November evening, and to show how we hope all our fields will eventually look like.

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