This episode is the reading of the blog post, Soil Life Exploding At Judy Farms, written by Greg Judy.
“2010 was our fourth complete year of Holistic High Density Planned Grazing on Judy farms. The last six months on Judy farms have been a real eye opener. We have seen some unique circumstances that have never been witnessed before on our farms. Some of the numbers and sights that we are seeing are going to be hard for you to believe. That is fine, skepticism is good. But………we now have much more hard data that has been collected from permanent transects on our farms. Before we dive into these latest happenings, I want to cover where we started at and the progression we have seen over the last four years. This will give you a time table of where we started at and the length of time that elapsed to the present.
When we took possession of our owned and leased farms, the top soil was pretty much gone. From 1920 to 1972 these farms were plowed and row cropped until there was no soil left. The old timers said that if you gave an old worn out piece of land a little rest (5-7 years) you could still nurse one last meager crop out of the soil without adding any fertilizer. This is pretty much what happened, folks were poor and they mined every spare nutrient out of the land until all the top soil was gone.
Moving along with the history of these farms, from early 1970 until the late 1990’s these farms lay fallow or occasionally they were mowed for hay. Lots of absentee landowners give the hay away every year just so their farm has that pretty neat mowed look. This was further mining of nutrients being removed from the soil with each hay crop. Finally the farms soils were so depleted of nutrients that they could not even grow grass. Much of our farms had a sickly pale green moss covering the soil, interspersed with broomsedge and eastern red cedar. Dewberry vines filled in the rest of the areas. Not real productive land for anything to live on.
When we first started leasing these fallow farms in 1999 we put down some lime, P&K initially. We quickly figured out that we would be bankrupt rather quickly if we added all the soil amendments that the soil tests called for. We also started custom grazing cattle in 1999 simple because we had no money to purchase our own livestock. Looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened.”
You can read the full post on Greg’s blog.
Profitable Methods for Healing the Land with Mob Grazing by Greg Judy
Multi-Species Grazing on Leased Land by Greg Judy
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