Saturday, September 22, 2018

Getting Ready for Next Year

We're already making plans for next year's research project. The project will be similar. We will be comparing ram, wether, and short-scrotum lambs. It is important to replicate this year's project to see if we get similar results.

Fall planting of cool season pasture mix

The farm that provided this year's lambs has agreed to provide lambs for next year's project. This is great news. This year's lambs were very healthy, despite all the rain, and produced good quality carcasses. They were docile and easy to handle.

The lambs grazed mostly annuals this year:  spring oats and dwarf pearl millet. We are establishing perennial pastures, leaving two acres for annual forages. A cover crop was planted into these two acres. The perennial pasture mixes include a variety of cool season grasses (orchardgrass, fescue ryegrass, and bromegrass), clovers (red and white), and herbs (chicory).

The pasture system consists of 10 acres. It will be divided into five, 2-acre paddocks for rotational grazing. There is an additional ~2.5 acres of silvopasture that contains mostly cool season grasses (fescue). The lambs always have access to a central laneway that contains shelter (40 ft. x 40 ft. roofed structure), water troughs, feeders, and the handling system.

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Katahdin Day in Western Maryland