Crop Rotation and Rotational Grazing Study
Conventional tillage along with chemical and synthetic inputs to soil is a contributing cause of low organic matter, low biological activity, increased compaction and erosion. I believe that a reduced or no-till approach to agriculture is a practice that can help us solve these problems and also allow us to retain precious moisture which is hard to come by in south-central Texas.
Rotational grazing has been shown to boost the protein and total digestible nutrients of all grazed forage. We use rotational grazing as well as crop rotations on our farm and ranch to rebuild the organic matter content of our soil and thereby reduce compaction, erosion and increase soil biological activity. This practice also improves aeration of our native and improved pastures which allows for the infiltration of water and nutrients.
We will plant forage type grasses as well as some drought tolerant legumes as cover crops in the spring. Fall cover crops will be rye and legumes. Most all of the planting will be no-till. On fields where cattle have been grazed, we will try to learn what type of deep tillage works in conjunction with cover crops to reduce compaction. We intend to show that we can direct-market an organic meat product with reduced inputs while improving organic matter content, biological activity, and also reduce soil compaction and erosion.