Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tiny-Scale MiG: Post Script

Just an update to let you know how my efforts and experiments turned out this spring. We are almost to summer now, which in this area means brown grass and no more growth until fall...

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series, as well as Tiny Scale Hay Making for more information about what I was trying to accomplish and what I have learned so far.

MiG Stands for Management-intensive Grazing, which could be described, VERY briefly, as:

"The thoughtful use of grazing manipulation to produce a desired agronomic and/or animal result. This may include both rotational and continuous stocking depending upon the season." (Thanks to Stockman Grass Farmer.)

I have been very enthusiastic about MiG for several years now, ever since I started learning about the many benefits of grassfed meat and dairy, and how good this technique is for the environment. At first though, when looking through the articles and advice on actually DOING MiG, I was pretty indimidated. It seemed so... complicated! However, gradually I've stopped worrying so much about that and just decided to start small wherever I can. :-D

THE RESULTS: The grass that I grazed Mira on this year has done quite well. We have very poor soil and pretty pathetic grasses, to be honest. I was mainly attempting to manage the grasses so that Mira could eat a lot but so that the grass would improve in health at the same time. It seems to have worked! Comparing areas side by side, the places that were grazed/cut at least once are actually taller now than the areas that I was unable to harvest. It was a thrill when I realized that, and I think it's interesting that even though no fertilization was done (Usually she wasn't even on a patch long enough to leave one pile of manure) the grass still looks greener and healthier just because of getting cut/grazed once or a few times. I wonder why?

Anyway, for those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the next installment, (;-D) I hope you are glad to know how this series of experiments turned out!


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