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Land imprinter?  RSS feed

 
                          
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Location: Colorado
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has any one had any experence with or hear of one being used?
look at some of the pictures on this page.  looks very promising for sandy soils,
http://imprinting.org/success_stories.html
 
tel jetson
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I don't have any experience with them, but I've seen a documentary on reversing desertification that included a segment on land imprinters.

the idea is to mimic large animal hoof impact, yes?  seems like a pretty solid plan.  large animals might be easier and cheaper (manure included! no extra charge!), but I think these contraptions have a lot of potential.

I do wish the photos on that website were a bit larger.  after a quick browse, The Imprint Foundation seems like a decent outfit.  I didn't see anything for sale and specifications to build one of the gadgets are easily accessible.  leads me to believe the intentions are pure.  and Doctor Dixon does look a little like Sam Elliot, which makes me want to trust him.
 
Jami McBride
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I've seen youtube videos of it being done, but I cannot find them now.

Very cool - A guy made his own imprinter (that's not what it was called) which put divots in his desert land, which collected water long enough to sprout seeds.  They also provided shade when the sun was at an angle in the sky.
 
Brenda Groth
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an interesting concept..i guess anything that will hold water and that seeds can fall into would be helpful
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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tel wrote:

the idea is to mimic large animal hoof impact, yes?  seems like a pretty solid plan.  large animals might be easier and cheaper (manure included! no extra charge!),


This was my thought, also.  We once rented a small farm (24 acres) that had had stock run on it when the ground was wet.  It was so pugged that in the summer, when the ground was dry and hard (more clay than sand) it was hard to walk across the field without turning your ankle.  You might just be able to get someone to bring their cattle to your place and slowly move them across the areas you want imprinted, at a time when the ground will take imprints.  As a bonus, they'd leave some fertilizer behind!

Kathleen
 
Wyatt Smith
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That seems to replicate animal impact better than any other tractor drawn machine.

Deserts especially need high impact and long recovery periods.  Many of the minerals in desert soil will be tied up in grey oxidized plants, unless there is impact.  Many of the US national parks are suffering from over rest.

Cattle can produce equal or better results.  They are a source of profit not rather than expense.  And, many allies such as the dung beetle assist in the task of improving soil.
 
Ardilla Esch
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I've seen it used in a few places in the desert.  It works pretty well for restoring disturbed land.  A lot of times normal seeding and hydroseeding don't do so well (poor germination and establishment).

I have to disagree about cattle doing as well.  The imprinters usually provide substantially deeper pockets.  Also, in desert soils the livestock tend to pulverize the soil rather than leave holes behind.  Of course the equipment has to be very heavy to do this well.  Besides the deep pockets, the hole pattern appears to be important when used on slopes. 

Also you wouldn't use livestock in the situations where you often use imprinting.  I've mostly seen it used on closed landfills, mine tailings, airport approach areas, highway embankments, etc.  Basically, it is useful in places where it is important to establish vegetative cover fairly quickly and/or where there are health and safety concerns.  If you were trying to restore pasture, you probably wouldn't hire out an imprinter. 
 
                          
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I do not know but the thought I was having was to make a smaller unit,
some thing on a 12 to 18 inch pipe with 2.5 to 3 inch angle iron in about 3 inch lengths, or even taper the point so it is more diamond shaped or spiked shaped, 

that possibly could be used to help inter seed things, like grass land, or even a cover crop in some other growing crop, (if the crop would not be damaged by by the roller), but the dimples would or looks like they may help give a broadcast seeded crop a better chance,

I understand the idea of the cattle and how they would help to seed some thing but the problem is they also would eat a lot in the process and that would be counter productive in some situations,

it just looked like a interesting and promising concept to me, (as it seems I have more than my fair share of sand.
 
Paul Cereghino
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I have seen old biotechnical erosion control manuals where folks have placed straw mulch on a steep new slope, then run a sheeps foot compactor up and down the slope with a wench. 

Have seen video in a class of the same being done with goats, being chased around on a slope by a (trained) dog after spreading straw.

Big version might need a big machine to pull the big weight.

On restoration sites we have decompacted with a backhoe moving back off a site, leaving a rough surface before mulching.  The poke and lever action doesn't compact and you are not limited to easy terrain.

 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Paul Cereghino wrote: then run a sheeps foot compactor up and down the slope with a wench. 


Might a dude work, instead? 
 
Wyatt Smith
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The land imprinter sounds great, it is probably better than cattle for certain applications (airports, etc).  Due to economics the land imprinter will probably only be used to a limited extent in wealthy countries.

Cattle can be used in every country.  It is very important to run cattle through semi desert areas using high density and long recovery periods.  Even shallow hoof prints break the soil skin which helps rain sink in rather than run off.  A disturbance is necessary to stimulate the seed bank and promote new growth.  Old brush will oxidize and turn grey, it must be trampled down so that decomposer organisms can go to work and make the nutrients available to new growth.

http://www.holisticmanagement.org/
 
rose macaskie
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     You would need an elephant to successfully trample some old bushes.

  Ardilla why would not you use one for pasture . In bill mollisons video they did not say whether they wanted pasture or not they were worried about hte desert round Tucson arizona and just wanted the earth covered the recovery of the desert soil. they said
          In bill mollisons video that included the use of imprinters there were very few plant so live stock would not stay long on the land animals dont stay ong hwere there nothing to eat unless there fenced in so they wont fertilise much.   
  mangudai says put the animals through in the rain and then give the land a long recovery peroid.  That is possible for those who have animals they can put through and then keep elsewhere, if you can, it sounds like a good system.
  Mind you others say let the bushes be to make soil and after a while grass will appear too. Probasbly this is one of those intricate questions  that depend on lots of things.   
 
  Over grazing is when the animal eats the plant down to the ground and is still on the same land to eat any shoots that try to appear to be part of the plants recovery.
      It is when there are too many animals for the place or when the animals are taken over the same land too often, every day for example untill the plants have been killed, this can be done for fear of fires, over graze one patch before moving on to another. If there is too much vegetation the fire risk will be great when the pastures dries in summer. Where fear of fires drives overgrazing you would need to institute big  fire breaks in pastures .
   
    If the live srtock go on eating the plant everytime it tries to recover untill they kill it, and do the same to all the other plants then  there will in the end be no vegetation lleft for them so no manure, no food no manure.
no vegetation no vegetable mater dead vegetation to form soils with.
      Also if they kill the vegetacion there will be nothing left to cover the earth and no roots to hold on ot it so the wind will carry off  the lighter bits of soil such as the compos, organic, matter, manure humus an dclay particles all htat would if it were there retain water well. in rains .

  If there is a bad year live stock owners  should sell off a few heads of cattle rather than having them do for the vegetation because in the long run it is the vegetation that feeds the cattle, vegetation is the golden egg that feeds the live stoclk and earth is the platinum egg it feeds the vegetation. THe live stock is last on the list.
      Look after the earth first because that helps the vegetation, then look after the vegetation  because live stock needs food. and then you can look after the live stock.agri rose macaskie.
 
Wyatt Smith
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Actually I didn't say anything about handling cattle differently during a rain.  I suppose you get more pugging during a rain.  But the effects of breaking the soil surface several weeks before a rain are significant.  High density grazing should be used all the time.

Sagebrush steppes in the American west are largely the result of overgrazing.  Cattle prefer not to eat sagebrush, and they prefer not to step on it.  Consequently they eat and trample everything between the sagebrush.  Under continuous grazing this is too much selection pressure and you end up with nothing but sagebrush.  If we prevent overgrazing by moving the cattle to new paddocks every few days, and allow long recovery periods (6-12 months), then the grasses between sagebrush plants can bounce back. 

Resting the land for very long time periods does not work.  The soil forms a clay skin which prevents water penetration, and the seeds underground lay dormant.  It is not a concern that the cattle will steal nutrients.  Their manure gives back nearly all the nutrients they eat.  Also cattle are the perfect tool for correcting mineral imbalances.  Cattle with free choice of several minerals will eat whatever they are not getting from their diet and then drop it with their manure.

Getting cattle to trample sagebrush is a trick.  Cattle in a high density herd will trample some sagebrush, but if the cattle spread out they will avoid it.  These landscapes are low in nutrients, so to keep cattle at high density they would have to move continuously.  This is usually not practical.  The next best solution is the strategic use of water, minerals, and gates to produce high density in at least a few locations. 

An overgrazed sagebrush steppe is immune to fire.  There is not enough litter between the bushes for fire to move from bush to bush.  However, if the grass between the sagebrush is plentiful then we have a different story.  Tall grass will spread the fire and this can kill many sage bushes.  After the fire, grass will dominate and sagebrush will be less plentiful.  Many of the sagebrush steppes in the American west were originally grassland with a scattering of sagebrush.
 
Jami McBride
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Off topic - but this concept of dense grazing with long resting is very interesting to me.
Would the concept hold true for other animals - like sheep, goats, etc.?

Maybe you could start another thread to pool information on this topic.  I've read about it before, but not in any detail.
 
Wyatt Smith
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Jami McBride wrote:
Off topic - but this concept of dense grazing with long resting is very interesting to me.
Would the concept hold true for other animals - like sheep, goats, etc.?

Maybe you could start another thread to pool information on this topic.  I've read about it before, but not in any detail.


Yes it does hold true for sheep and goats.  They have sharp hooves that can break the skin of the soil and help moisture penetration.  Also sheep and goats tend to walk more, they actually trample more grass than cattle do.  Trampled grass is a feast for soil organisms, and equals even more grass in a few weeks.

However cattle have way more mass so they move more soil.  For example, if you want a gully or a bluff to slough off, high density cattle is the way to do it.

A man from Missouri showed me where he had temporarily run 1,000,000 lbs/acre of cattle through a riparian area and totally transformed it.  Once there was a gully with a wide shallow stream.  Now there is a gentle verdant slope, the stream is now deeper than it is wide.  At the waters edge there is a type of sedge growing with about the densest roots of any plant, it doesn't let go of any soil particles.  If there is a flood, sediment gets trapped by the grass and sedge.  This is reverse erosion!
 
rose macaskie
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mangudai, then you mean, you put a high density of cattle in a small enclosure for a short time and then move them on to another small enclosure to stand on more sage bushes?
 As i  understand it if you have the right amount of cattle and move them around when you should the vegetation grows between the sage bushes, recovers from the grazing the sage bushes probably have deep roots as well as shallow ones and bring up some water to feed the shallow roots when the ground is very dry so that shallow roots sweat and lose water instead of taking it up . THis would and help the situation of the pasture. of course if the land has suffered from grave over pasturing you would have to leave it alone for a while for the grass to get going before you could stock it.

the ground forms a clay skin.  
     If you have got very little vegetation then you might get a hard clay layer on the surface but if you have a lot of vegetation i don't see that happening, where the leaves come out of the ground they break up the clay surface. I only see that happening were you have bare patches.  As plants, or pasture plants at any rate, continually die back and regrow, they die back because of cold or heat, leaving a straw where they once grew, and in good weather grow through again  breaking through the surface again and as more pasture grows how could a clay skin appear with a lot of vegetation to pierce it.
 If the pastures are  well kept, so that there are more plants each year there will start to be a good population of worms and they are always bringing up earth, those who dig deep and need little vegetable matter bring up earth from below and those who prefer to eat lots of leafs mold pull that down into the ground when they take refuge in cool damp lower layers, or warm layers, according to whether it is freezing or too hot outside and that is another factor that would break up a clay layer, so i don't see land covered in vegetation having a solid clay layer on it.

 I do see a lot of vegetation as a fire danger and here in Spain fires are a real problem in summer when pasture dries totally and i would understand some over grazed areas like biggish and widest strips as fire breaks, in which strips it would  be easier to put out fires. I think fire breaks might calm fears of fires and the owners of livestock might then be willing to allow climax vegetation on all the other bits of their land or common or rented land.
 Fear  of fires is so great here, the responsibility of shepherds to the village is to reduce the fire risk which is such that the live stock owners sacrifice their own livelyhood to it. If they could have climax vegetation they could have cheaper food for their animals, bought feeds are less healthy often and much more expensive than browse or pasture or hay from your own fields. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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Animals can only excrete if they take in something. 
    Their food is ruinable plants are living things they die as well as renew and to much pression kills them then you can let animals excrete as you will nothing will grow there are no plants left and as there is no ground cover the wind will take away light matter like manure. the windand rain take away everything some eroded hills below, and these stand where they grow wheat and they dont irrigate in these parts so the hills aren't bare for lack of rain. lack of vegetation leads to lack of soil.

      Eat grass once and it regrows using stores in the parts of the plant that get left behind.
      Eat the new shoots again to soon and it will still find it in itsefl to push up more but it can only take so much to many cattle kills the plants. Cattle wont fertilise the land if they aren't eating and they wont be eating if they have had at the same plant to often and killed it and all its cousins and freinds and country men.
Also cattle that spend the night in the stables will excrete half their dejection in the stables and here in Spain i have never seen manure taken out from the stables to pasture land, only to wheet feilds  or vegetabe gardens, i have even seen it simply dumped, i  have learnt lots of things here but as is true everywhere there are also things that aren't done right. agri rose macaskie. 
erosion 3.jpg
[Thumbnail for erosion 3.jpg]
 
Wyatt Smith
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Rose, I think you are correct on every point.

It is absolutely correct that overgrazing has to do with timing, not the number of animals.  Typically a herd will not eat everything down to ground level.  They can eat everything if crowded, but animal performance will suffer and the grass will take longer to recover.  Severe grazing is not overgrazing, but it is still not desirable.  Left to their choice, cattle prefer to eat the tops of grass which have more carbohydrate and less protein than the base of the grass.  They will severely graze some plants and leave some alone.  We don't need to worry about it if sufficient recovery is allowed.  Greg Judy aims for 20% of the forage to be consumed, 20% left standing, and 60% trampled into the ground.  Each paddock is typically grazed 2 times per year.

Where I live we get about 100 cm or rain every year.  On a well kept pasture in this environment there should never be any exposed soil, so the clay layer cannot form.  Most of the land, however, is chemical cornfield which does.


The action of raindrops on exposed soil will throw the small clay particles farther than the heavy sand particles.  This will not happen if the raindrops hit vegetation and slide down into the soil.  Later the surface will dry and crack and be a barrier.  The drier the climate the more of a problem this is likely to be.


I agree with you that in case of drought it is better to sell animals right away, and save the dry grass.  When the drought lifts you can buy the animals back cheaper than you sold them, and have more grass.  New grass will come up through a stand of rank dry grass.  New grass is too high in protein, so cattle need to eat some fiber with it.  In the west it is a very bad thing to severely graze the land and then have the drought stretch on for years more.
 
Barbara Greene
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This is a great topic. I read a book that has a chapter on people in Nevada using their cattle to imprint and reclaim ruined land, its called Gardeners of Eden Rediscovering Our Importance To Nature, by Dan Dagget, 2005. I found it really interesting regarding this topic.
 
rose macaskie
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  Mangubai, Nice photos..
If the ground is dry you cant imprint before rain, do you wait for the first rains to wet the land and then put the cattle in to imprint before the next rains? agri rose macaskie. rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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    In england you take the cattle out of the feild when the pastues have been  eaten down to a certain point, to let them recover.
        They are also kept off the land in winter when they would trample the grass into the wet soil. There is a system mentioned on these blogs of finding types of grasses grasses that form a good mat at ground level and don't get trampled in when the ground is wetter, in England in winter.
  In spain the sheep are herded so I suppose it is, take them first on one round and when you want to rest the land take them on a different circuit .
  In spain this subject is maybe complicated by the fact that some land is common so if your animals  don't eat all the vegetation on it another persons animals will, I don't know how it works.
  Though the cattle  like the tops of the planrts i suppose they end up eating everything if you leave them on the land with nothing else to eat. agri rose macaskie.
 
Wyatt Smith
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rose macaskie wrote:
  Mangubai, Nice photos..
If the ground is dry you cant imprint before rain, do you wait for the first rains to wet the land and then put the cattle in to imprint before the next rains? agri rose macaskie. rose macaskie.


It depends on what your goals are.  In mud livestock make much deeper footprints.  I would not want livestock to use dirt roads when it is muddy.  However on a sloped hillside deep footprints might be beneficial. 

Holistic Management advises a grazing plan where areas on the map are paired with months.  The plan would usually consider which months are rainy and which are dry.  Typically it would not be necessary to change the plan for a rainy day.

You also have to consider animal performance.  Livestock find their favorite foods very quickly.  They will have the healthiest diet if moved every day.  After several days on the same paddock they will be forced to eat less palatable forage, this can cause them to suffer.

The old English system is overgrazing.  Once the plant starts regrowing it must not be grazed again.  In my climate the grass can begin to recover in 1 day during the growing season, you could get away with 3 days of grazing, but 5 days of exposure would be overgrazing.  Frozen ground can be exposed as long as you like because the grass is not regrowing. 

I once worked for a dairy farmer who used 4 paddocks and rotated every 7 days.  His grass did almost as well as a residential lawn ( ).  The sod was only 10 cm deep and the cattle could tear it up completely in extremely wet weather.  Also there was little plant diversity and fewer signs of soil organisms.  I call that overgrazing.  He also fed a small ration of grain year round.  And kept everything in barns through the winter.   ops:  To be fair he was smarter and much more ecologically friendly than most conventional beef farmers.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Mangudai,

I've been thinking hard how to frame this constructively, so here it goes:

I think that careful planning of grazing is very important, and that there is grazing reform and innovation a foot.  There is much to learn.

I believe that desert and semi-arid ecosystems in the intermountain west are no more improved as ecosystems by the introduction of cattle, than the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest are improved by being converted into tree farms.

The idea that a desert or semi-arid ecosystems of the intermountain west "needs" cattle grazing to function well is to the best of my knowledge or investigation, not supported by a weight of evidence, and is a belief with vast political and ecological consequences.  This belief is often promoted under the assumption that the best and highest use of an arid landscape is the production of a single yield, beef, and that modifying a landscape so it produces more beef, is an improvement.

I strongly object to the concept that we should manipulate the fragments of desert wilderness in North America for the production of consumer beef.

If you have arid "rangeland" that you are using to produce cow meat, then you should VERY CAREFULLY become educated in the deep and broad liturature of dry rangeland management, and make good choices.

If you are promoting cows as the next best thing for ecosystems that have been cow-less for thousands of years, then we may have different sources of information, or simply different values.  I believe that while animals and appropriate grazing are important to human settlements, that the conversion of the intermountain west to rangeland is inconsistent with permaculture values.

For a good start on more info:

http://www.jdburgessonline.com/grazing/index.html





 
Wyatt Smith
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Paul,

I do not say that every ecosystem needs cattle.  Nor do I say that producing beef is the most important goal.  Increasing soil life is a very important goal.  Helping recover the biodiversity and native ecosystems are very important goals.

The Great Plains (including large areas which are now sagebrush steppe) evolved with the buffalo.  High density grazing replicates the impact of the traditional bison herds.  If you feel that some desert areas should never be exposed to cattle, I respect that opinion.  But the fact is most of the inter-mountain west is rangeland now and subject to bad practice.  Every ecosystem has its own unique attributes and we must listen to what the landscape is trying to say.  I do not suggest that high density grazing is a silver bullet which is easy to apply to solve any problem.  I do say that it is a powerful tool, that when used appropriately offers enormous benefits. 

http://www.jdburgessonline.com/grazing/hrm.html
I find that most of the research cited here applies to continuous grazing and overgrazing, and is not applicable.  Some of the correct claims are presented in an unbalanced, biased, and misleading way.  Many of the authors other claims directly conflict with observations I have made with my own eyes and hands.

Most of my experience with this system is in IL, IA, MO, and KY.  What I have witnessed is nothing short of miraculous.  This is what its all about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO8s84XiL6o


I'd also like to add; it is easy to get overexcited about something new an wonderful.  The original proponents of chiropractic claimed it could be used for everyone and everything.  HHDG proponents might be guilty of the same over excitement.  I know I get super excited when talking about it.  Also we run up against the levels of sustainabilty that Paul talks about.  At the highest level we would tear down all fences and let 60 million bison roam the continent in giant herds.  HHDG is not quite at that level, but it is far far closer to it than conventional land use practices.
 
Wyatt Smith
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http://www.jdburgessonline.com/grazing/hrm.html

Dry Creek, V Bar Allotment (Orme Ranch)
Prescott National Forest, Arizona


April 1996 - Pretty grim.


July 1999 - No improvement.

This illustrates how high density will cause bluffs to slough off.  I see improvement.  Undercut bluffs are far more susceptible to erosion than slopes.  Also the slopes offer more micro climates (in terms of moisture) for plant diversity.
Notice how the water is more shallow in the first picture, deeper in the second.
  Why the slope is still so barren puzzles me.  I expect more vegetation.  I believe the late 1990's saw drought, but I don't know the details for Arizona.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Mangudai-

I hate it when threads side track

I agree about tall and shortgrass prairie ecosystems and buffalo.  I agree that JD Burgess has an axe to grind (though I've never met or talked to him, so then again, you might too if you've seen what he's seen).  I am excited about pulsed grazing--how it aligns well with the way plants can support soil building.  I agree we need to experiment and watch what the land tells us.  I believe that cattle along with a range of livestock can be a powerful tool to increase health of land, and may be better than tractors in many settings.

In the columbia basin the stocking rate is so low, that it is hard to justify building and maintaining enough fencing to control grazing and keep the operation economical.  THere have been no great herds in that ecosystem for thousands of years.  Cattle congregate on drainages, increase fecal coliform in creeks, bring silt in to suffocate salmon redds and compete with beaver for browse.  Taxpayers currently subsidize fence construction to try to rebuild critical creeks on private land.  Cow induced devegetation has led to creek incision, which can become self perpetuating without intense intervention as incision constrains flood flows leading to more incision.  Having cows dump another ton of sediment into an incised floodplain may only temporarily change channel structure if the system is already too incised.  If you don't understand the stream system you may be causing more damage.

I wanted to create an opening for the possibility that economical commercial beef production may not be appropriate for some ecosystems, or that cattle grazing needs to be managed in different ways in different systems to different ends, and that in arid systems, you are playing with fire.  I also wanted to raise the possibility that some individuals may try to use words like "wholistic" to try to greenwash a legacy of ongoing land degradation for profit, present company excluded.

These were the kinds of statements that I reacted to most strongly:

"Cattle can be used in every country.  It is very important to run cattle through semi desert areas using high density and long recovery periods."

"Many of the US national parks are suffering from over rest."

"Old brush will oxidize and turn grey, it must be trampled down so that decomposer organisms can go to work and make the nutrients available to new growth."
 
                          
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At the least this has been an interesting thread,
with a lot of opinion and possibilities, and how to care and restore range land.

thank you for the inputs,
 
rose macaskie
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       I have been chewing the cud thinking about what mangudai said i had decided that he says things to get others talking.
      I  have thought of two additions to my former comments on what he said. I am presuming that his comments were designed to make me or others think.
  over stocking spoilt pastures.
     One comment i wished to add  after turning over these comments was.
     There can only be a very low amount of livestock on over grazed land, as there are few plants left, there are few animals.
        It is annoying when you say, this land is overgrazed and the answer is, "there aren't many sheep or what ever, so what do you mean its overgrazed"? from some clever clever. Of course there aren't anynmany sheep, it is so badly overgrazed that there is nothign to eat so that you can't have much live stock anymore. The few  heads per acre are not a sign that it is not over grazed, they are only a sign of what you can have after overgrazing has ruined everything. "Let it rest a few years and you can have twice as many without any hurt to the plants, at the moment two sheep is two many though their is plenty of rainfall here".

   The other was to say that trampling is a good point, how heavy a bunch of animals can you have. I did not observe any damaged grass from trampling in my grandmothers farm except round the drinking troughs, so in a wet country like england it does not seem to be a great problem unless the soil is so wet the animals feet sink iin it.
       My grandmother did not let the cows into a field full of grass to trample it. If the grass was very high then the field had an electric fence put across it and the cows were let in to a little bit at a time. The fence was moved each day.
Obviously if the cows trampling creates a bare spot round drinking trough there is some problem. If there had been  a really great number of cattle on my grand mothers land the  trampling would have destroyed the pastures. The land could not have fed more cattle though.
  In Spain though, i have noticed that a fairly light amount of passage creates a noticeable path such as me crossing a place in the same way a few times a year. So probably it is a theme with lots of ins and outs to it. If my observation is right trampling has a bigger effect in a hot climate . Maybe others use that path when i am not there,. Wild animals, deer do create some patht  in my garden.   agri rose macaskie.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Just noticed a little line drawing in Mollisons Permaculture Designer's Manual for something called an offset disk... instead of a full wheel the disks are set like an axe blade so that it takes one bite at every revolution, resulting in the creation of pits... but no compaction.

However the term "offset disk" refers to two racks of disks at different angles.. different animal.

"isk pitting" did get a hit..
http://www.ecocomposite.org/restoration/soilpit.htm
 
rose macaskie
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 If we are to go into grazing then we have not talked bout how plants bush out if you cut off the top most part of their stems.
  Plants have a dormant bud in the space were the leaf stalk joins the stem. These buds remain dormant sometimes for ever.
 The tip of stems produces a chemical hormone auxins that get carried down the plants in the phloem and can move from stem to stem that stops the buds lower down on the stem growing. Only at a certain distance from the tip were few auxins arrive will new branches grow.
      If you cut off the end of a branch the dormant buds in the axils were the leaf joins the stem will start to grow. That is how making a hedge works, when you cut the top of the bush or tree you are using to make a hedge hedge, its starts to bush out. theas you cut top and side tips you increase the new branches that grow in all directions.
    The same is true with grass, if grass is eaten the dormant auxillary buds will grow and the grass will grow into a bigger mat of grass, in th ehorizontal sense so you potentiate the size of each mat still you can't allow to much grazing because of course the plant can't take being cut too often.
      The plant needs  reserves to bush out when its cut, it will start making new reserves as it grows but still you cant just go on and on cutting it live stock need to be controled a bit. If it is cut too often its vitallity will be broken, the plant may die and so you will get a bare patch not a feild full of pasture. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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Paul Cereghino says that he hates it when themes start to talk of other themes and he has a point, for one it makes it hard to find the bit again when you want to look it up.  maybe he could get paul wheaton to separate out the overgrazing bit and the land imprinter bit. On the other hand a ceratain loosnes in the themes can mean sthat enjoyable bits are mixed with less fun ones not the case in this forum.

    To go on about over grazing in response to Magudai.
  Magudai talks about live stock eatign  the lower part of the grass the roots and matted bgit at the base of platns which he says is less nutritious, that is a bit of agriculture i don't control.
  Sometimes livestock needs a bit of woody material cows can at anyrate. Magudai or paul cereghino have mentioned this earlier.
    They say goats ruin pastures because they pull up the plants by the roots and thats why they are so bad for pastures. I have not seen it, we had a neighbors goat in our garden when i was a child and I don't remember the grass getting pulled up by the roots. I suppose goats do this when there is nothing else to eat.
      Animals pulling grass and other pasture plants by the roots would be bad for pastures.
Sometimes goats should be shut up an food bought to them this would prevent them destroying pasture's. WHen the top of the pasture has been eaten and there is nothing left for them but roots for example.
        Whenever the animals can eat from plants in the great outdoors this must be the most healthy and cheap solution to feeding them, feeds are expensive.

  There is a costume in the part of Spain I go to in the north of guadalhjara near Soria of taking the sheep and goats to feed on the dry pastures and i should think this leads to them eating all that bit of the grass that has dormant buds hidden in the dry leaves at the base of the plant and would greatly reduce the amount of grass that regrew in autumn but that is a question that it would be best to resolve with the shepherds not the goats.
        I have not seen them making hay there. I have seen hay being made in Gredos. Making hay and feeding th sheep and goats with hay would save the pasture plants, it would not be so good for reducing fire risk though.

      A traditional live stock feed is the stubble here in Spain . Live stock seems to  have been periferal to other types of farming, often a way of getting rid of side products and fertilising and feeding beast of burden.  Many  farms where however places that had all types of animals and wheat feilds, self sufficient farms. 
 
      My body has set up a noisy protest to my spending too much time at the computer the muscles in my neck and arm are complaining in a loud voice,  I have had to do nothing watch the telly in an eff,ort to recover.
  I dont know if the photos will go through, there are two on one page, sometimes that is too much. A photo of time that has been grazed the leaves have been pulled off the plant leavingh bare stalks and a photo of of sheep eating dry pastures  agri rose macaskie
44 arce 48.jpg
[Thumbnail for 44 arce 48.jpg]
 
Wyatt Smith
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Location: Midwest zone 6
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Paul Cereghino wrote:


These were the kinds of statements that I reacted to most strongly:

"Cattle can be used in every country.  It is very important to run cattle through semi desert areas using high density and long recovery periods."

"Many of the US national parks are suffering from over rest."

"Old brush will oxidize and turn grey, it must be trampled down so that decomposer organisms can go to work and make the nutrients available to new growth."


Mea Culpa.  My wording was over the top.
I hope we can all appreciate Arches National Monument exactly the way it is.  Maybe cattle could increase the vegetation, but that's not the point.
 
rose macaskie
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mangudai are you sure the cattle would increase the vegetation? it does not seem logicall to me. My grass that is not grazed just vanishes rather than staying there as a barrier to new growth. In a documentary on japanese pines they said that  pines seedlings grow best on a rotting trunk of old pines which are the places with more nutrients, it seems that in some cases plants like living off dead plants. My potted plants roots went down to the corks i had put in the bottom of the pot when i did not have broken pot to put in the bottom of the pots for drainage and was crazy enough to try with corks as drainage. To my suprise plants seemed to like having corks in the pot so much the roots were all over the corks.  
 Cutting plants does make them bush out so a bit of grazing thickens the growth. Plants send a hormone down from the tips of the plants to prevent all their buds developing and so to stop the  plant looking like a birds nest. If you cut off the tips of stalks then production of auxins, the plant hormone that stops growth till a reasonable distance from the tops and dormant buds below the cut start to grow, this causes thickening out of grass and other plants but plants  can't take being grazed again and agaìn, they might end up with no reserves to start regrowth.
Is n't it normally considered, in places that are near desert, that bettering the soil goes scrubb, ie. bushes, to grass when the bushes have bettered the soil enough for grass to grow, to trees. so grass is a sign of things getting better. rose macaskie.
 
 
rose macaskie
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Mangudai You have posted a picture of a bank going down to a river that seems to be a place animals use to go down to drink.
      It is normal for land to get very trampled in a watering hole and steep banks increase erosion, so no wonder the banks are eroded, Any loose matter can just roll downa steep slope,  also the incline  increases the power of water to erode, water runs faster down a slope. A slope also increases winds eroding qualities, the wind can pick up matter that once dislodged rolls downhill.

  That hills erode easily is the reason that growing grain on slopes is bad agricultural practice, ploughed soil can roll down hill so you should keep live stock on hills or cultivate trees for fruit or wood.
      If you want feed for live stock it is better not to plant grain you can to plant oaks on slopes for acorns as feed. Maybe chestnuts too and a monkey puzzle trees that ken fern says produce most nuts of any tree you can grow in Britain though they take a long time to reach sexual maturity. Oaks  can produce as much as you can produce and acre with grain according to David Bainbridge American professor. With trees on your slopes you can produce feed without you ruining soils. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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In Africa the soils used to be good though it was dry and large amounts of animals ran through the pastures  occasionally but they were running throughland with good soil though it was land that had a dry season.
      Now the situation has changed. According to Bill Mollison the British and such changed the way of stocking the land and ruined the soils and now you might just need to let the land recover with no animals on it or only very few before the heavy charge of animals seasonally was good for the ground. Agri rose macaskie.
 
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