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Brad
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Last seen: 2 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 03/22/2014 - 8:16am
new to farming

hello, so i am new to farming, not to biodynamics, and about to acquire first farm. had a few questions on the sequence of events to start building good soil in pasture area before acquiring couple of cows. not sure of what equipment i will need to either buy or rent. i'm assuming i will need a ripper of some sort and a disk harrow in order to plant cover crops in rotation with pasture crops. was hoping to find a little advice here on the forum. is this a correct assumption that i will have to rip through existing grass then harrow to plant cover crop with some kind of seeder?

M Mueller
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Joined: 01/26/2012 - 12:04pm
new to farming

Hi Brad,

I was sorry to see your query go so long unanswered. I'm not a farmer (I'm a gardener that works with a farm), but your query raised a few simple issues.

When acquiring new ground and turning it toward building good soils with BD principles, the application of the BD preps is the first concern. In your case, with pasture, the Pfeiffer sprays are a great way to get the preps onto the land quickly, even without turning any soil (it helps if the grasses and forbs are short, to allow best soil contact).

But before putting heavy equipment on your land immediately to rip or disc, you might try allowing the existing pasture to grow up as it will for a season, with one or two cows on it, and let them show you what you have growing there already. By seeing the forage, forbs and weeds grow up, you will get a better understanding of what your soil is saying to you, the new farmer, and what the cows' advice to you is (you can get their advice by observing what, how, when and where they graze). Cows, after all, are the best pasture experts.

Then, next season, you can make good choices for cover, pasture, ley mixes, etc, based on the needs of the soil as expressed in its current growth and its relation to the cows.

I would hope that a more experienced person would steer your ideas better than this; maybe when everyone gets in from the fields for the year they'll have some advice. Meanwhile, you can't go wrong by applying the preps and getting to know your relationship to your farm organism.

Best of luck! M Mueller

perennialroots
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Joined: 01/24/2013 - 7:33pm
Glad to see M got to you. New

Glad to see M got to you. New to the forums myself. Here's a pertinent quote:

"With correct ripping and the Bio-Dynamic soil spray, we have increased soil organic matter over a six year period from initially 0.9% in the top 4" to 12.4% and, at varying depths, reducing to 2.4% at 40" depth." - Alex Podolinsky, Bio-Dynamic Agriculture Introductory Lectures, Vol. 1, pg. 14.

Podolinsky found that ripping alone, without the #500 spray, only improved soil to a respectable but comparatively meager 30 centimeters -- and nowhere near as much organic content built. A chisel plow can take a lot of HP -- around HP per claw, and far more in many cases. In my own situation, I would chisel plow with an application of #500, or better yet #500P or the Pfeiffer Field Spray.

Brad
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Joined: 03/22/2014 - 8:16am
thank you both for reply.

thank you both for reply. think i will definitely hold off on tearing up existing pasture

lotusdog
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Joined: 12/09/2015 - 4:41pm
need more info

definately need some more info about what type of farming your doing and some info about your land size and place. I would spend a year or two observing your land before making any major changes. Learn how water, wind, and the sun travels through it, is collected by it, etc.. Perhaps develop a relationship with the land first?

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