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Wed May 4 18:08:57 EDT 2011


5' in a 1000'

I'm not sure, but I think many of these dips may simply have been caused by 
clearing land of trees without any further measures. Stumps may have rotted 
over time so there are just these uneven spots/dips throughout. Tractor 
bounces a lot, and there are 3 obvious areas of small drainage channels. 
Slope runs from N to S and also E to W.

I'm using this pasture for rotationally grazing cattle. So, I'm not really 
sure all that earth  moving would be worthwhile.

<<Dunno what soil you've got there; if it's solid clay that might not help 
much. >>  

Tight, hard clay mineral soils with only 3-4" of top soil. Like concrete when 
dry, like molding clay when wet. I've often wondered whether these clays 
might not make outstanding adobe like bricks!! But then it's so wet, and 
humid at times down here that I wonder even if it were possible whether these 
bricks would hold up to weather?

<<If the standing water persists through dry spells, plant water-loving
stuff (with multiple functions and yields, of course ;->>

Standing water does not persist for more than a few days unless constantly 
replenished by more rainfall. We seem to have very heavy spring rains which 
make the area very boggy till it dries out, far too wet to have even cattle 
on.

<<turn 'em into micro-ponds/wetlands.>>

John, I'm having a problem getting enough pasture for my cattle as it is. I'm 
thinking of clearing (over time) more land for pasture so that I have enough 
good forage for my cattle.

Some of former pasture land has quickly grown up into scrub tree/briar areas. 
These areas get plenty of water from large erosion channels from the steep 
hills that feed them. This creates bog like conditions from Feb. through June 
or longer depending on rain fall. Area is relatively flat too except where 
water has made channels.

I'd like to turn this area into park like pasture with a good number of the 
larger and more desirable species of trees. There are lots of willows, and 
elder berry trees that seem to grow fast, and die off just as quickly under 
constant stress of too much, or too little water. There's a lot of dying, or 
standing dead wood in this area already.

I was planning to take all that stuff down...but it's a job getting it out of 
the way.

A bull dozer could probably clear the area much faster, and in a few days. 
But then I'd need to do a lot of clean up, re-grading, etc., etc. 

More labor problems. Like so many PC ideas that may work like filling in 
erosion ditches with debris, tree branches, etc., to slow water loss the 
effort required to do so on a good number of acres is simply glossed over.

Much of the labor is a one time thing but often it is either far too costly, 
requires a lot of heavy machinery, or far more man power than most farmers 
have available!

Look forward to comments on this. Thanks. Frank



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