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It's official, the new neighbor intends to roundup all 40 of his acres

 
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I contacted the local university ag division because the sainfoin I'm growing was developed by them. I was hoping for some advice on what to say to the neighbor so he doesn't accidentally round up my field. I was pretty much told that if he follows the directions right my field should be ok and if it isn't I have to file a claim against him.

I do not want to sue our new neighbors. They are a lovely couple who care for our kids and we enjoy talking to. Their ideas are off though.

I'll start with the fact that they're completely new to the area. No idea about our weather, the critters and plants we have about, etc. It's WINDY here. Super windy. And they are up wind from us so whatever he sprays is absolutely going to blow onto my property.

I've tried suggesting they plant sainfoin and alfalfa and grasses as I have done. Offered to let them come look and we could show them how we did it, etc. etc. He has a very clear idea on the kind of grass he wants in his pasture for his horse to graze. He wants it weed free as well. Apparently someone told him not to till so his plan is to round up.

Any advice?
 
pollinator
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Oh no. No no no. Just no. Does he even realise what putting roundup on that pasture is going to do? All the "weed" seeds, especially the ones of the grasses he doesn't want his horse to eat, are in the soil. In millions. As soon as the cover is gone, what does he think will happen? Only the precious seeds that he plants are going to germinate?

Nope. That's pure fantasy.

Herbicides give opportunistic plants some of the best conditions they could ever dream of: a sudden clean slate of clear ground and sunlight, with no competition for water and nutrients, no pesky allelopathic factors, and a flush of food from all that dying plant matter and microbial life feeding on it. This sets up a treadmill effect, where the hapless user of toxic gick has to go and buy even more, reapply and reseed, wasting time, money, and fertility all the way down the drain.

The quickest way to turn a decent sward into a weed patch is to hit it with roundup. I see it happen around me all the time. I even told the council crew last time they sprayed the verges near my paddock that the grass they were busy killing was suppressing the thistles, dock, nightshade, etc. A month later I said "told ya so." They haven't sprayed this particular set of verges and fencelines since...I don't know if it's because the lesson sunk in or they just don't want me chewing them out again.
 
master pollinator
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elle sagenev wrote:I contacted the local university ag division because the sainfoin I'm growing was developed by them. I was hoping for some advice on what to say to the neighbor so he doesn't accidentally round up my field. I was pretty much told that if he follows the directions right my field should be ok and if it isn't I have to file a claim against him.

I do not want to sue our new neighbors. They are a lovely couple who care for our kids and we enjoy talking to. Their ideas are off though.

I'll start with the fact that they're completely new to the area. No idea about our weather, the critters and plants we have about, etc. It's WINDY here. Super windy. And they are up wind from us so whatever he sprays is absolutely going to blow onto my property.

I've tried suggesting they plant sainfoin and alfalfa and grasses as I have done. Offered to let them come look and we could show them how we did it, etc. etc. He has a very clear idea on the kind of grass he wants in his pasture for his horse to graze. He wants it weed free as well. Apparently someone told him not to till so his plan is to round up.

Any advice?



I am not sure that it will work, at least on our dairy farm, that I had no control over, and was not mine directly, but family nonetheless, it never worked.

In our case we tried to get rid of weeds that over the years had cropped up, like milkweed, yet did not want to rotate into corn fields. Sometimes this was because the soil was highly erodible and was on steep ground, or sometimes we just wanted to save money by not tilling fields, just to put it back into grass again, but grass with less weeds.

As I said, it never worked.

That was because round up is fairly weak believe it or not. It does not kill a lot of weeds like you think it would. Enough for corn to grow, but not persistent weeds becaus it was not designed for that application. So the grass it did kill was stunted, but the weeds we did not want kept growing, and then when we did drill in new grass with a no-till drill, the new grass was stunted.

I am not sure I am explaining it well enough, "but it did not work" kind of sums up what I am saying. We ended up going back to the age old practice of tilling. (More on that in a second)



 
Travis Johnson
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We went back to tilling to kill weeds, but I would not do that today.

Two years ago I had a pasture that was teeming with Milkweed, and it also had Smooth bedstraw. I was under USDA-NRCS obligation to get a field up to fertility standards, and had left over material. So I hit my pasture with it. Two months later I asked Katie if she noticed something that was no longer there. It was milkweed and smooth bedstraw. The fertilizer was heavy on the potash and phosphorous which killed off the milkweed. In fact 3 years later, it still has not come back. The lime took care of the smooth bedstraw.

Today, if I wanted to kill weeds, I would find out what my target weed liked for soil, and then make it what it wasn't. In the case of milkweed, it likes low phosphorus soil, so give it phosphorus! And smooth bedstraw likes low PH soil, so sweeten it. Generally, getting the soil to ideal conditions will make the weeds go away. And unlike spray, or even tillage, proper fertilizing (and this can be done easily with compost), the results will last far longer.
 
master pollinator
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Be sure to document what your fields look like before the spraying, so you can show damage if necessary.

 
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I know you said you are friends with the neighbor, but if they won't listen to reason, I would put up signs saying "Do Not Spray.  Chemical Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted." along the property line.  Those signs are used heavily in my area around organic farms.  I would also take pictures as Tyler said.  You may not want to take it to that level, but they may give you no choice, especially if wind causes chemical drift many feet onto your property.
 
Phil Stevens
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Hat tip to Travis for pointing out the real solution. "Weeds" are information, and they are telling us about the condition of the land. Dr Redhawk says it in his signature and explains it elegantly. "Weeds" are typically pioneer species trying to heal the land, and if we help them then the types of plants we want are more likely to grow (and the pioneers fade away into the background, awaiting the next disturbance). But if we keep disrupting the natural cycles of succession, we get stuck in the early stages.
 
elle sagenev
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Phil Stevens wrote:Oh no. No no no. Just no. Does he even realise what putting roundup on that pasture is going to do? All the "weed" seeds, especially the ones of the grasses he doesn't want his horse to eat, are in the soil. In millions. As soon as the cover is gone, what does he think will happen? Only the precious seeds that he plants are going to germinate?

Nope. That's pure fantasy.

Herbicides give opportunistic plants some of the best conditions they could ever dream of: a sudden clean slate of clear ground and sunlight, with no competition for water and nutrients, no pesky allelopathic factors, and a flush of food from all that dying plant matter and microbial life feeding on it. This sets up a treadmill effect, where the hapless user of toxic gick has to go and buy even more, reapply and reseed, wasting time, money, and fertility all the way down the drain.

The quickest way to turn a decent sward into a weed patch is to hit it with roundup. I see it happen around me all the time. I even told the council crew last time they sprayed the verges near my paddock that the grass they were busy killing was suppressing the thistles, dock, nightshade, etc. A month later I said "told ya so." They haven't sprayed this particular set of verges and fencelines since...I don't know if it's because the lesson sunk in of they just don't want me chewing them out again.



My husband actually pointed out that if he uses round up he's pretty much guaranteeing a crop of cheat grass come spring. We can try to point that out to him and see how it goes. He likes chemicals though.
 
elle sagenev
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Travis Johnson wrote:We went back to tilling to kill weeds, but I would not do that today.

Two years ago I had a pasture that was teeming with Milkweed, and it also had Smooth bedstraw. I was under USDA-NRCS obligation to get a field up to fertility standards, and had left over material. So I hit my pasture with it. Two months later I asked Katie if she noticed something that was no longer there. It was milkweed and smooth bedstraw. The fertilizer was heavy on the potash and phosphorous which killed off the milkweed. In fact 3 years later, it still has not come back. The lime took care of the smooth bedstraw.

Today, if I wanted to kill weeds, I would find out what my target weed liked for soil, and then make it what it wasn't. In the case of milkweed, it likes low phosphorus soil, so give it phosphorus! And smooth bedstraw likes low PH soil, so sweeten it. Generally, getting the soil to ideal conditions will make the weeds go away. And unlike spray, or even tillage, proper fertilizing (and this can be done easily with compost), the results will last far longer.



I do like that strategy. Our soil is pretty bad here and his is particularly bad as there were 3 horses on it for years and years and years.

So the wheat field in front of us is certified organic. I've been playing with the idea of whether his use of round up will ruin their ability to claim organic status as his entire property drains into this wheat field. Do you think it will? He has great respect for the big time farmers so if I tell him that he may scrap the whole idea. Has to be true though.
 
elle sagenev
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Be sure to document what your fields look like before the spraying, so you can show damage if necessary.



That at least won't be a problem as I'm somewhat obsessed with taking pictures of my field. lol It does happen to go right to the fence line we share though. So if he sprays it'll get a full hit of it.
 
Tyler Ludens
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elle sagenev wrote:
So the wheat field in front of us is certified organic. I've been playing with the idea of whether his use of round up will ruin their ability to claim organic status as his entire property drains into this wheat field. Do you think it will? He has great respect for the big time farmers so if I tell him that he may scrap the whole idea. Has to be true though.



There seems to be evidence that glyphosate may travel in run off.  Whether it will in this case can only be determined after the fact, when it will be too late.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5606642/

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/business/misgivings-about-how-a-weed-killer-affects-the-soil.html

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/04/150422-glyphosate-roundup-herbicide-weeds/

https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/6%20Buffer%20Zones%20FINAL%20RGK%20V2.pdf
 
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elle sagenev wrote:
So the wheat field in front of us is certified organic. I've been playing with the idea of whether his use of round up will ruin their ability to claim organic status as his entire property drains into this wheat field. Do you think it will? He has great respect for the big time farmers so if I tell him that he may scrap the whole idea. Has to be true though.



I'm not an organic certifier but I believe it is true. If we look at any organic food product, usually besides the USDA organic label but somewhere on the package, will be another one, by a certifier. QAI (Quality Assurance International) is one that pops into my mind, but there are many others. These are kinda like watchdogs, and they help keep less than savory people from trying to pass off conventional crops and products as organic. If a farmer has wheat or corn or whatever they grew, and they say it's organic, samples of the crop will be tested for residue, and if it's clean, it gets the seal of approval. This is in addition to the hoops a farmer or food label has to jump through to be able to be organic in the first place. There's a whole sequence of events that happen throughout a crops chain of custody so that, when we the customer buys something and pays a premium for organic, we can be confident that it is indeed free from chemicals and gmo’s. If an organic crop tests positive for patented genes or poisons, the farmer at a minimum, can only sell it as conventionally grown, but could also be at risk of losing their farms certification and even be sued by a multinational corporation that owns the patents on a seed.

Chemical and patented gene pollen drift is a big time big deal. I think it would behoove the new neighbor to really understand what is at risk if his herbicide contaminates an organic crop and the farmer can’t fetch the premium for organic and loses tens of thousands, or more, dollars. This neighbor could be held liable for the lost revenue if convicted in court of negligence, such as spraying on a windy day for example.
 
elle sagenev
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Thanks guys. I think I'll try the, "You'll ruin the farmers crop" approach with him next time we talk. I'm just a weird young girl, but the farmers, oh he likes them. I think that's my best bet.
 
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You just can't fix stupid. So sorry you have to deal with the situation.
 
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Maybe you could check with your Organic neighbors and see if they know and are sending letters as suggested at ATTRA?  I'll try to attach the pdf with templates.  It's also on this list https://www.google.com/search?q=NO+SPRAY+form+letter+for+neighbors+of+organic+growers&cad=h
Here are a few excerpts from the letters used by certified organic growers....


NEIGHBOR NOTIFICATION LETTER  
(Date)
(Name and address)
Dear (Name): I am currently a certified organic farmer with  (name of your certifying agent), managing my fields consistent with the USDA National Organic Standard. Since you are an adjoining property owner, I need to inform you of my plans and ask for your help. If you plan to use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and/or genetically engineered crops on land that adjoins my fields, please take precautions when transporting or spraying to prevent overspray, chemical or genetic drift, or run-off onto my farm. If chemical drift is found on my organic crops or fields, I may be required to wait up to three years before using these fields for organic production. This could also cause loss of my organic certification and/or loss of the organic premium for crops grown on affected fields.  (Optional Paragraph) I understand that you are currently not using any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and/ or genetically engineered crops on the (field or pasture) that borders my farm to the (east, west, north or south) and adjoins my field #( ). If you are willing to sign the enclosed Verification Of Neighboring Land Use form, I will not be required to maintain a buffer zone between your field and mine. Also indicate the location of your adjoining fields on the map enclosed. Please return the signed statement as soon as possible. If you would like to know more about my organic certification or have any other questions, please call. Thanks for your help. Sincerely (Signature of organic farmer) Enc.: Verification of adjoining Land Use form          Farm map  

Name of Neighbor  
Address  
Phone #  
I verify that the following fields/areas under my management have had no synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, or genetically engineered crops applied in the last 12 months. I have no plans to use these synthetic products on these fields in the future 12 months. In the event that I do use any synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, or genetically engineered crops, I will inform  
(name of organic farmer) of my plans.  
Specific Field Identification: (The organic farmer should indicate the organic field ID # that adjoins a neighbor‘s fields before sending this document to that neighbor and indicate fields on the accompanying field map).          Organic field ID #   Neighbor‘s field identification                                                                                                                                                                  
       I verify that the above information is true and accurate.  
                                           Signature of Neighbor  Date Signed
Page 6 ATTRA    Forms, Documents, and Sample Letters for Organic Producers
ADJOINING LAND USE VERIFICATION (Optional Form B)
I verify that I am the farmer of Location I am aware that my neighbor,  (name), whose land borders my farm(s) on the  (N,E,S, and/or W) side(s) is certified organic.  I also understand that it is important to his or her business that organic crops and land be protected from contact with certain substances—such as synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, other pesticides and genetically modified organisms—that are not allowed in organic farming. Buffer zones are required to be sufficient to prevent contamination. The following statements on this affidavit will help the organic certifier determine what type of buffer the organic farmer named above needs to maintain. Please check all that are true. I am an organic farmer, with current certification by (name of certifier). The materials I routinely use on my farm include the following:  synthetic fertilizers  herbicides  insecticides  fungicides  treated wood  other (specify) I do not use any of the above materials on my farm I use the materials checked above, but not on the fields adjoining my neighbor’s property. The distance between where I use the materials checked above and my organic neighbor’s property is  feet. I agree to notify my organic neighbor when I plan to use these materials on adjacent land.
              Signature of neighbor                                     Date Farm Name  Address  Phone number


The full templates for the letters are in pdf form.  
Filename: producerforms.pdf
File size: 474 Kbytes
 
Travis Johnson
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This is a very difficult situation because there is not a lot of wiggle room here. As much as we know spraying is bad and does not work, there is such a thing as property rights, and while we may not agree, people do have the right to do what they want on their own land, just as some people do not like what we do on ours. Freedom really is a two way street.

At the same time, I know the value of having neighbors that are kind, and trustworthy enough to watch my children. That unto itself is a great benefit for any homesteader with a family, and really cannot be taken lightly. In fact that is an incredible resource, especially with another child upon the way. But you might be able to use that friendship to convince the man, not only is spraying bad, it just does not work.

I guess my only question is, is Wyoming a Right to Farm State?

If it is, there is not much you can do legally. Whether we agree or not, it is an approved USDA Farm Practice, and thus allowed, particularly under the Right to Farm Act many states have implmented.

About all you can do is try and educate the man on spraying, and like you said, try and use the shamefulness of hurting a big farmer if he has a sft spot for them.

As further deterrant, you might even want to mention the many advertisements that are currently being run regarding lawsuits against Round Up for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoia. You can even mention you know of a life-long farmer in Maine (me) who was disabled by the forefather of round-up. In my case it was not Round Up that gave me a tumor on my pitutary gland, and thyroid cancer, but Agent Orange. That is because it is transferred genteically up to five generations from the recipient (my father in Vietnam). But that is how Agent Orange and round up are so effective, it kills and protects, by genetics. (By "protect", I mean it allows the corn plant to be immune to its killing ability. Agent Orange worked in a similiar way).
 
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In modern, polite society, it is generally accepted that one's own liberty ends where it starts impinging upon that of another.

Or at least that's how it was supposed to be. I get the feeling that the litigious nature of the untied states has buggered that up.

I think it has to do with the nature of the beast. Manifest destiny and the sentiments and moral compromises that led to frontierism and "american exceptionalism." To get there, the value of human life was lessened, and a sense of entitlement, to do what the individual deems necessary at the expense of others ('murca First), was espoused, which was allowable, because for the longest time, the "other" was the Native population.

Granted, the value of human life before the Columbian exchange was pretty low in many places, unless you were above the level of commoner. But the same patterns of division and segregation, of marginalisation and demonisation showed themselves, and the old religious conflicts followed every immigrant to the New World.

That focus shifted from Natives to the enslaved populace, and then after that was disallowed, to immigrants of every stripe, each replacing the others as global population pressures influenced demographic shifts; and now there are "illegals."

I didn't mean to harp on the states, but the Orwellian nature of the Right to Farm Act in light of the consequences of what is permitted by law is just frightening, and I think the social history plays into it more than is evident; some of these ideals and abstract concepts to which many of my neighbours to the south cling are deeply rooted in patterns of social manipulation of centuries past.

And because identity is so tied up with some of these ideas, to suggest that any of them are wrong, or need to change to avoid a societal meltdown even greater than is currently being seen, is anathema. And buddy will plant what he wants to plant and spray to make it his way, and spray to fix what the spraying did, and spray exactly when he's told not to, and damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead, because he is entitled to his opinion, and to act upon it until someone else forces him to do otherwise, in this case through litigation.

Or hopefully, the person can be made to listen. Hopefully, too, the neighbours with a financial stake in ensuring that they can keep their organic status dogpile on him, in the nicest, kindest way possible, of course, to make sure that it's clear, or at least heavily, heavily hinted at that his horse pasture grass fetish will cost him more than the property should he risk endangering their businesses.

I really hope that you can gather your neighbours behind you, Elle, and do the "speak softly and carry a big stick" routine, and that everything will be okay. Good luck.

-CK
 
Travis Johnson
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Chris Kott wrote:In modern, polite society, it is generally accepted that one's own liberty ends where it starts impinging upon that of another.



Exactly, and that is why the Right to Farm Act was founded. In that case, it was founded because people in the city would move to the country, but disliked the smell of manure being spread, and tried to stop it. And they could. With a town full of people who did not farm, going up against a single farmer in town who did, the town votes were stacked against the farmer. This impeded upon the rights of farmers to do what they had always done. So a State Wide law was voted in that took in the best interest of the state, and not the outnumbered farmers in a single town.

But the law works backwards too.

I know of a nearby town that voted down GMO seed being sown in their town. Fortunately/Unfortunately, Maine is a Right to Farm Act state, and GMO seed (right or wrong, and more wrong than right) considers GMO Seed to be an acceptable practice, so the farmer just kept planting as he always did. State Law trumps town law after all, and the town could not stop the farmer.

But it is wrong to say the Right to Farm Act is bad, because it is not. You never toss the baby out with the bathwater, it is best to fight to change the concept that GMO seed is an actable practice. That is how you do good in the world.

But in this case, Elle has another big problem; she has nice neighbors! She likes them. They watch her kids for goodness sakes. Just because they like spray does not mean they are evil, they just do not know how to get pastures without weeds! Having all the organic neighbors pig pile on the guy is NOT the right way to go about changing this. It is educating the man on the dangers, and silliness of using spray. If he has the right to spray his property, angering the man by ganging up on him just after he moved into town is NOT going to help. He will feel alienated and spray out of spite.

As long as things as friendly between you and him (Elle and him in this case), use that ability to communicate in a friendly manner to educate him on the dangers of spraying.
 
Chris Kott
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Oh absolutely, 100%. Shutting down dialogue isn't usually productive. And even reliable acquaintances are worth their weight in some precious metal, silver, probably.

And at the end of the day, you just want them to listen for a moment to something outside the internal echo chamber I think everyone has. My point was that for some people, just the mere suggestion that there could be something wrong with what they're doing is enough to shut down conversation. I am hopeful this isn't the case.

The neighbour obviously cares for his horses. Maybe getting advice on what local natural pasturage alternatives exist would help. I mean, if that neighbour hooked up with others who were bonzo for horses, and they told him similar things, maybe he might be more inclined to listen.

-CK
 
elle sagenev
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Travis Johnson wrote:This is a very difficult situation because there is not a lot of wiggle room here. As much as we know spraying is bad and does not work, there is such a thing as property rights, and while we may not agree, people do have the right to do what they want on their own land, just as some people do not like what we do on ours. Freedom really is a two way street.

At the same time, I know the value of having neighbors that are kind, and trustworthy enough to watch my children. That unto itself is a great benefit for any homesteader with a family, and really cannot be taken lightly. In fact that is an incredible resource, especially with another child upon the way. But you might be able to use that friendship to convince the man, not only is spraying bad, it just does not work.

I guess my only question is, is Wyoming a Right to Farm State?

If it is, there is not much you can do legally. Whether we agree or not, it is an approved USDA Farm Practice, and thus allowed, particularly under the Right to Farm Act many states have implmented.

About all you can do is try and educate the man on spraying, and like you said, try and use the shamefulness of hurting a big farmer if he has a sft spot for them.

As further deterrant, you might even want to mention the many advertisements that are currently being run regarding lawsuits against Round Up for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoia. You can even mention you know of a life-long farmer in Maine (me) who was disabled by the forefather of round-up. In my case it was not Round Up that gave me a tumor on my pitutary gland, and thyroid cancer, but Agent Orange. That is because it is transferred genteically up to five generations from the recipient (my father in Vietnam). But that is how Agent Orange and round up are so effective, it kills and protects, by genetics. (By "protect", I mean it allows the corn plant to be immune to its killing ability. Agent Orange worked in a similiar way).



If I could be 100% sure that none of the round up would make it to my property I would live and let live. It is his land. I wouldn't want him telling me to stop digging holes. And yes, we do have a right to farm bill. I support it.

Plus, as you've said, they're lovely people. We genuinely like them.

I am well and truly concerned though about blow over on a field I've spent over a thousand dollars and 4 years growing. This is the first year this field has really been grazed hard and it's impressed the crap out of me. To have it die would be a giant blow to me.

I guess that's the crux of it. I work for lawyers so I KNOW I could sue them and make them pay for the field but the field would still be dead and the relationship with the neighbors damaged. I don't desire that at all.

So  he wants fescue grass, weed free, covering his acreage and he's looking for ways to accomplish that. He's been told by someone else not to till so believes round up is the only way. While I know round up is NOT the way I'm also not 100% sure what way is the best way. I have great fields for grazing but they are not weed free. Oh he did mention burning it once but I told him of some other city people who came out and burned their house down doing that so he's looking at other options. There doesn't seem to be any solid, magic field planting trick.
 
James Freyr
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elle sagenev wrote:

So  he wants fescue grass, weed free, covering his acreage and he's looking for ways to accomplish that.  



There may be another way for him to pause and consider what he wants. Do you know if he's new to farming? Perhaps ask this new neighbor if he knows what endophyte is, and that it's in most fescue. If he wants to graze this monoculture pasture of fescue and nothing else, his grazing animals will be sick, and extreme endophyte poisoning results in hooves falling off. There is a lot of literature documenting this, not just on organic farming sites but university ag extensions websites and the usda as well, so he can pick a source that he finds credible. There are indeed fescues with "novel" endophytes that exhibit less toxicity, and endophyte free fescues but they generally die out after a few seasons. If he's new to farming another aspect of grazing a monoculture is bloat, which can be fatal. Maybe all this makes no difference to him if he just wants to be a hay farmer and not graze these 40 acres.
 
elle sagenev
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James Freyr wrote:

elle sagenev wrote:

So  he wants fescue grass, weed free, covering his acreage and he's looking for ways to accomplish that.  



There may be another way for him to pause and consider what he wants. Do you know if he's new to farming? Perhaps ask this new neighbor if he knows what endophyte is, and that it's in most fescue. If he wants to graze this monoculture pasture of fescue and nothing else, his grazing animals will be sick, and extreme endophyte poisoning results in hooves falling off. There is a lot of literature documenting this, not just on organic farming sites but university ag extensions websites and the usda as well, so he can pick a source that he finds credible. There are indeed fescues with "novel" endophytes that exhibit less toxicity, and endophyte free fescues but they generally die out after a few seasons. If he's new to farming another aspect of grazing a monoculture is bloat, which can be fatal. Maybe all this makes no difference to him if he just wants to be a hay farmer and not graze these 40 acres.



I had never heard of such a thing. Fascinating. He doesn't really want to farm. He just wants to graze his horse. Just a horse pasture.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Article about endophytes with fescue . https://aaep.org/horsehealth/fescue-horses-diet-minimizing-risk-your-horses-health

Grazing management is the best way to control weeds . https://www.agupdate.com/illinoisfarmertoday/news/livestock/managed-grazing-tops-ways-to-control-weeds/article_768aefbe-336f-11e8-b587-0741ee973f06.html

'Herbicide application is another tool for keeping intruders out of pastures. That method also has downsides.

“The problem with herbicides is, when you kill that weed in the pasture, it creates a hole. And what grows in the hole? A weed. So it’s like a revolving door,” Teutsch said. “If you have a weed control program based solely on herbicides, the chances of that being successful is pretty slim.”'

I wonder if you can encourage them to spot-spray weedy areas and manage the rest of the pasture with rotational grazing, rather than wholesale spraying which is just going to cause long-term weed problems.

 
Travis Johnson
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The best way to have a weed free pasture is to feed it, and mow it.

Like I said before, do a soil sample, and then fertilize and lime/Sulphur it to get the right PH.

Then mow it, called "clipping pastures". You bushog them, but kind of high, and a few times a year. That is because the grass always grows, but weeds seed out well after grass does. By clipping them often, they never have a chance to go to seed and take root. In the mean time they get mowed, and mowed, and mowed again, and slowly they die off, as the grass thrives and thrives.
 
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I agree, Tyler. Post-emergence spot spraying would be cheaper, and as those spots would be surrounded by the original microbiome, the soil would heal faster.

The only advantage to this over Travis' method is that the individual undesirables are eliminated entirely, rather than slowly, and with many passes with the mower. The downsides are the same as manual removal, in that one has to observe and repeat at need, as well as the whole toxic spray issue.

But if it gets the neighbour to limit his use of spray, at least at that point, he's negotiating, or exercising the plasticity of his position. It's a win, of a sort, on two fronts: less spray, and a dialogue in which he might be moved towards no-spray, as obviously he was once moved towards no-till.

I hope that is as bad as it gets. But it might be the price needed to get him to shift the rest of the way.

-CK
 
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I just wish he had better grazing animals. Horses are notoriously picky eaters, and leave a lot of the weeds behind that other animals would gobble up. Sheep for instance, they prefer weeds over grass, so they are easy to rotationally graze since they are inclined to eat just about everything.

But should the guy spray his pastures and kill Elle's, I am all for driving out there to Wyoming and having a good ole fashion tar and feathering. My town generally likes to do one now and again just to make sure the towns people know how to boil tar, and pluck feathers from chickens. It has been a few weeks now since we did one, so we are about due. As a rule, we like to stay put in our own town, but if there is a need, we do tar and feathering on commission.

Note: All text in italics is tongue-in-cheek humor. It has actually been quite awhile since this town has tared and feathered anyone...it has been well over three months! :-)
 
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Yep, nothing ruins a pasture faster than horses.

Here's an article specifically about why and how to rotational graze with horses:  https://extension.psu.edu/how-to-make-rotational-grazing-work-on-your-horse-farm
 
elle sagenev
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Travis Johnson wrote:I just wish he had better grazing animals. Horses are notoriously picky eaters, and leave a lot of the weeds behind that other animals would gobble up. Sheep for instance, they prefer weeds over grass, so they are easy to rotationally graze since they are inclined to eat just about everything.

But should the guy spray his pastures and kill Elle's, I am all for driving out there to Wyoming and having a good ole fashion tar and feathering. My town generally likes to do one now and again just to make sure the towns people know how to boil tar, and pluck feathers from chickens. It has been a few weeks now since we did one, so we are about due. As a rule, we like to stay put in our own town, but if there is a need, we do tar and feathering on commission.

Note: All text in italics is tongue-in-cheek humor. It has actually been quite awhile since this town has tared and feathered anyone...it has been well over three months! :-)



If my field dies he'll see what an angry woman I can be. LOL They'll be selling the property and moving elsewhere to avoid me.

I agree on the horse front though. Our own property is severely damaged by horse grazing. It's the curse around here, that people move out to keep horses and they just fence in the perimeter and let them go year round. We have one neighbor with 9 horses and 2 cows on their property. They're newish and I give htem another year before all they have is dirt.
 
Travis Johnson
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elle sagenev wrote:If my field dies he'll see what an angry woman I can be. LOL They'll be selling the property and moving elsewhere to avoid me.



Correction: Angry Pregnant Woman!!

And you must be saying you are pretty savage to be worse than a tar and feathering! :-)

elle sagenev wrote:I agree on the horse front though. Our own property is severely damaged by horse grazing. It's the curse around here, that people move out to keep horses and they just fence in the perimeter and let them go year round. We have one neighbor with 9 horses and 2 cows on their property. They're newish and I give htem another year before all they have is dirt.



I just got mine to look pretty good, almost no weeds, but I admit I rely on clipping to keep the weeds at bay. But this year, after 54 faithful years of hard, hard life, my bushog has officially died. I rebuilt it a year ago, and it did not last one season. Now I am afraid the poor thing is beyond help. So now it is Travis 11, and weeds 1.

Rest in peace Bushog 105 (1965-2019)



 
elle sagenev
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Travis Johnson wrote:

Correction: Angry Pregnant Woman!!

And you must be saying you are pretty savage to be worse than a tar and feathering! :-)

I just got mine to look pretty good, almost no weeds, but I admit I rely on clipping to keep the weeds at bay. But this year, after 54 faithful years of hard, hard life, my bushog has officially died. I rebuilt it a year ago, and it did not last one season. Now I am afraid the poor thing is beyond help. So now it is Travis 11, and weeds 1.

Rest in peace Bushog 105 (1965-2019)



I can be scary persistent when I take to something. It's why I'm still planting things in my climate. lol

I hope you've destroyed enough weeds through the years that your field doesn't get too weedy!!!
 
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I’ve very limited experience with horses. However, based on other grazing animals, it seems having one species of vegetation for horses is not a particularly healthy diet regime. I found the attached brochure on pasturing horses and their nutritional requirements – it may be helpful.


PASTURE FOR HORSES


Perhaps the neighbour would benefit from having a broader knowledge of horse dietary needs, stocking rates and rotational grazing practices, that is, mixed pasture grasses and legumes equals better health outcomes = fewer veterinary bills, zero/reduced herbicide use = significant cost savings.

So, the broad scale use of herbicides, like Roundup, is counterproductive to a healthy pasture and therefore healthy horses.

Unfortunately, most people only want to listen to alternatives when it’s related to dollar savings.
 
elle sagenev
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He is dead set on Round up. Can't change his mind. At this point we'll just have to see if I need to sue him in the spring.
 
Chris Kott
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Wow. I'm sorry, elle. I guess some people just have what they consider to be non-negotiable points. Did he give you any reasons why?

At this point, I think perhaps it is time for a preemptive tidal surge, like the one discussed earlier about getting the local organic vested interests to gang up on him with something like a memorandum of understanding, something straightforward like, "Let it be understood that whosoever endangers our livelihoods will have the stink sued out of him, and the scraps left to the buzzards as return of surplus."

And then there's the option of going to ditches sprayed with roundup to control them and finding the survivors of target species gone to seed, breeding them up on your property, and seeding them upwind of his. You'll have a local population of weeds that doesn't care how much roundup is used, which won't help you any, but will frustrate the hell out of anyone wanting to use roundup to kill them. There couldn't be any negative repercussions from that, right?

Joking aside, I am truly sorry you find yourself in this position, Elle. Strength in numbers, though, right? See if you can get your other neighbours to dogpile on him, using reason, if enough of it will finally get through, or if that doesn't work, litigation, in the truest american fashion.

Again, good luck, and keep us posted.

-CK
 
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