[Market-farming] RE: Too steep to graze

Jeff Snyder snyderjs at pathwaynet.com
Mon Feb 16 12:59:44 EST 2004

I respectfully disagree with the statement that if it's too steep to mow
it's probably too steep for hooves. Your own soil structure obviously
determines this restriction, but I have pastured ten acres of hilly ground,
some parts exceeding a 70-degree pitch, for decades with no erosion problems
from the cattle. Other animals may present different challenges, but the cow
paths created by our Herefords ran parallel to the slope (most animals are
too lazy to walk straight up- or downhill) and have never eroded. Actually I
believe the regular compaction of the soil by 800-1200 pound animals assists
in preventing erosion. And they fertilize it as well. Frost seeding a
pasture mix will not only keep unwanted weeds at bay but give good weight
gain in the process. Again, this depends on your soil type. I agree that a
tractor, if affordable, is a versatile piece of equipment, if you can also
afford the attachments and peripheral implements. I enjoy walking and
working my fields, but the prospect of guiding even a self-propelled mower
across the amount of acreage you have is daunting. Look for a small Ford
with 3-point hitch and a 4-5 foot brush-hog type mower, or even a Farmall C
with a mid-mount mower. The C doesn't have 3-point, so I would opt for a
small to mid-size tractor with 3-point. They're the most useful for the most

Jeff Snyder
Greenville, Michigan

-----Original Message-----
From: CASTENS at peoplepc.com [mailto:CASTENS at peoplepc.com]
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2004 9:31 AM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] Recommendations on DR Field and Brush

Strictly my opinion: If it's too steep to mow, it's probably going to erode
quickly under hooves.

Errol Castens
Oxford, Mississippi
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