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precipitation and regeneration

 
ariel greenwood
Posts: 33
Location: piedmont north carolina
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can I expect the grasses in my goat pastures to regenerate after being grazed when there is no rainfall from April thru October? even if there is a stocking rate and rotation schedule that avoids overgrazing of grasses and shrubs, and leaves a significant manure load in its wake, can I expect the manure to contribute to regrowth if there is no moisture or rain?

this is in a region with mediterranean chaparral. anyone familiar with such environs is especially encouraged to comment.
 
R Hasting
Posts: 183
Location: Mineola, Texas
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Regeneration and regrowth will only occur if there is sufficient moisture in the soil to allow that to occur.

I have observed that a rainfall event right after moving the animals off that paddock , or even while the animals are still in the paddock is optimal.
If it hasn't rained in a week or two before taking the animals off, and if it doesn't rain for three weeks afterward, there is very little growth to speak of. When it does rain, in my observation, it is slower to recover, but I haven't bothered to make a comparison regarding how long of a delay it adds.

If you get NO rain over the summer months, you will have to live on stockpile. and have enough left to allow the growth to catch up when it does rain.
So if you may go 90 days without rain, and it might take 90 days for the grass to recover, you need 180 days of pasture.

Two months after the sheep have been on the paddock, the manure is still in tiny pellets unless the worms and bugs have gotten to them. They seem to breakdown sometime AFTER the grass has recovered. I can't tell you whether that is shortly after recovery, or 6 months or a year.
I do know that in this pasture, there are cow pats that are a year old and still big and lumpy.

This is just my observation over a three month period, but it has actually been wetter than normal for us.

 
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