How to have happy plants

Uncategorized Apr 20, 2021

In my previous blog I talked about how the actual and most popular advice comes from an experiment done at University of Missouri by Crider in 1955 which concluded that it is better to take half and leave half of the forage when grazing. I also explained why that is totally incorrect when applied to the real world and especially when compared to what can be achieved, in terms of the ecosystem, under correct Total grazing.

Now I would like to explain what Happy plants means and its importance in increasing your ranch/farm stocking rate.

When plants are rested for a longer period, we find that microorganisms feeding on root exudates in turn feed the plant.  These microorganisms make soil nutrients available, and we also know that they can be ingested by the root of the plant, this is known as rhizophagy.  It becomes a closed cycle, additionally there is mellowing of the soil effect by the longer rest periods which makes the soil fluffy, this may also have to do with increased humus production when plants have fully grown.

What I want you to know is that forage plants, when they get in a state of higher health thanks to the microorganisms getting more root exudates and in turn feeding the plant much better.  Then, the plants do not have to go to seed, maintaining their photosynthesis and quality for longer. Leaves get longer and wider, root/crown reserves are much higher and humus buildup is higher. That is what we all want, better forage and more forage thanks to better water use and higher photosynthesis fueled by natural processes.

This characteristic of grasses when given a very long rest after Total grazing gives us peace of mind and lowers risks which I will explain in next blog.


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