[Market-farming] RE: Too steep to graze

robert schuler sunnfarm at bellatlantic.net
Mon Feb 16 13:28:56 EST 2004

My land is table top flat. I learned the value of flatland when a friend wanted
to sell me his dairy in PA. The hillsides were so steep that he rolled down and
destroyed two tractors while cutting hay. Hay machinery would follow at a 45
degree angle to the tractor while working across hillsides and he had lost more
than a few cows over the years from accidents when they "fell off" the pasture.
When you get to the point that cows fall off the pasture its time to look into
reforestation and transferring land to a conservancy group...Bob.
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton, NJ.

Jeff Snyder wrote:

> 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
> applications.
> 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
> Mower
> 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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