Ian Mitchell-Innes Managed Grazing Tips
1. Interface between the rhizomes and microbes, take the soil sample through the center of the grass plants tuft.
2. Whenever making decisions, put them off for a while and think about them under the shade of tree. You may find out that you did not need to do them after all.
3. Take your time going to the 22 day bull exposure process. Each successive year shorten up the exposure time a bit that you give the bull to the herd.
4. Takes 5 days for microbes to change from generation to the next.
5. The bull that works at 15 months is a desirable trait. How do we know which bull is the best? Let nature sort out the best bull.
6. When facing difficult situations, back off a bit and think about what would happen before man arrived with the firearm.
7. Anything in nature gets culled if it is out of sync with nature. Big fat ones get caught, skinny ones caught as well.
8. Buy 2 heifers for the price of one bred cow. Graze these heifers through your management system and keep the ones that perform well, sell the ones that don’t.
9. Use sports whistle to move the cattle. This allows anybody to move your cattle, get more excitement in the herd which aids in animal impact on your pastures.
10. Every unit of carbon holds 12 units of water.
11. The longer you can harvest solar energy, the more $ brought in.
12. (personal note Judy Farm)Rotate every day from Gama grass field bottom up to ridge field the following day, this will carry seed and nutrients up to the poorer ridge field for free.
13. When you mow off grass with a mechanical mower the plant is not stressed the same as a cow (pull action whip) off a bite full, microbes explode under the ground. Therefore there is no microbial explosion with mechanical mowing. Pastures properly grazed always grow back faster than mowed fields.
14. If you do not allot enough forage, some cattle just stop eating after being bullied enough by other dominate cows, animal performance plummets.
15. When you walk into a herd of animals to move them, (target animals that look stressed)observe from the left side standing behind them, there will be a sunken triangle between the hip bone, rib and backbone. This is the sign of a hungry animal.
16. 2 months prior to calving concentrate solely on animal performance at all costs, up until 2 weeks before bull being taken out of cow herd.
17. 80% of the calves growth takes place in the last 2 months of pregnancy.
18. 22 days it the ultimate target for a bull in the herd, anything outside this window will eventually end up leaving the herd.
19. Do a marginal reaction on buying heifers and breeding them at the right time.
20. Big heifers are freaks of nature, do not use them as breeding stock.
21. In the Autumn take of your bottom 10% that do not fit your management system, develop a hamburger market for these animals.
22. The more carbon that you have in the soils, the longer the quality stays in the grasses.
23. Attitude leads to gratitude, be the person that you would like to meet that day. Keep a stone in your pocket to remind you of this.
24. Quantify the asset that we are working with. How are you going to position yourself for this opportunity?
25. Go through the Holistic Goal Setting and Decision Making process.
26. Do a marginal reaction, (time and money spent). When comparing two enterprises you need to look at the limiting factors of each.
27. Do a gross margin analysis.
28. Risk and exposure is least with custom grazing.
29. Sheep and cattle, what are the limiting factors of each?
30. Carbon on the soil, serves as the skin of the soil. Must get energy through the soil surface.
31. Volume, carbon load your soils which feeds the microbes.
32. Stocked Density = Eaten: Banked Ratio.
33. Burning reduces production, kills roots two foot down.
34. Fungi: Bacteria in the soil.
35. Oxidizing grass (stock density solves this)
36. Provide the environment and it will come.
37. Synergy, Trust, Companionship, Help, (We all desperately need all of these to flourish)
38. Right attitude, what do you want to achieve? Why? Why? Why?
39. When are you going to do it? Where are you going to do it? How are you going to do it?
40. Plan, Plan, Plan, it is about understanding what you want to do.
42. Increase the stocking density.
43. You can not get fully stocked if you ignore animal performance.(Stocking Rate).
44. Understand the growing season.
45. Ian is presently at 520 kg (1144 lbs), his target is 400 kg (880 lbs).
46. If Ph of the cow is lower than 7, the cow will not conceive.
47. Animals were made to walk to water, don’t spend tons of money on expensive water points.
48. The top 1/3 of each plant is where the energy is stored, the middle 1/3 of the plant is where the fiber is located, the bottom 1/3 of the plant is where the protein is located.
49. Remain flexible, monitor animal performance, monitor animal behavior, monitor animal fill, remain flexible, ENJOY YOURSELF.