Just getting started

…on here as well as grass farming. I own a 400 acre farm in Northern Missouri that as of last year was half row crop, half backgrounding lots and waterways/hay. We are looking to seed the entire farm to grass and rotate stocker cattle and hair sheep on it daily. We started the process last summer by shaping the heavily eroded lots with a small dozer and planted them to pearl millet which was grazed. The crop ground went to wheat in the fall. It will be grazed this spring and then the entire farm planted to pearl millet and a mixture of other species. We are looking to add erosion control and organic matter to the soil before we seed the ground down to grass permanently. Also this summer we are going to put in a pumphouse below a pond, run water line, and high tensile electric wire to hook our reels to for grazing. We will graze around 400-500 stocker cattle and 240 hair sheep pairs this initial summer, moving daily. I know I have bitten off a lot, but I have good help, and am eager for the new venture. After constant erosion, sky high inputs and feed bills, I am ready for a change.

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Welcome Drew! Sounds like lots of changes, but exciting changes! Also, I think combining stockers and hair sheep is great. Hair sheep have quickly became a valuable part of our farm. How did you like pearl millet?

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I loved the pearl millet. I went with it rather than sedan grass because I was afraid of prussic acid poisoning if grazed post freeze. It was planted on some of the old backgrounding lots which are steep with lots of drainage and prevented further erosion. After the cattle trampled it it made a large mat on the ground which held together well. There literally was a creek that had eroded shut and after pearl millet was planted the run off from the water helped recut and shape it again. The stocker cattle I had on it (5 wt heifers) gained well and I sold them around Thanksgiving weighing 725. Very impressed and like I said, I will replant again only this time I and going to add more species of plants.

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Sounds like it did great for you! I’m planting on planting some this year. Did you drill or broadcast?

Drill. A few years ago I bought a crust buster 15’ drill. I’m definitely keeping it around.