Hiya, I'm gonna be spending a month on the farmstead in September. I have a lot of things to take care of, including wanting to get some keyline plowing done with a subsoiler.
Here's a Google Earth screenshot of the farm, with 2 ft contours. I've been trying to sort this out myself, but have too much on my plate at the moment. I'd like to hire somebody to draw up a keyline plowing plan for the pastures, the plow lines 3 feet apart.
If you're interested, please send me a PM with a bid and I can also forward you the KML file so you can load it up to Google Earth on your end. Thanks!
you might try a few Keyline facebook groups - if you dont get a response there, i would reach out to the good folks at http://www.regrarians.org/ i believe they have an option to do just what youre looking for.
Grant Shultz at Versland may also be another option.
hope that helps.
http://www.cloud9farms.com/ - Southern Colorado - Zone 5 (-19*f) - 5300ft elevation - 12in rainfall plus irrigation rights
Dairy cows, "hair" sheep, Kune Kune pigs, chickens, guineas and turkeys
Thanks Kelly, I'll have a look at Facebook and the Regrarians site. I bought the Regrarians handbook's Chapter 2 actually, the chapter on geography, and although the information on there helped a whole bunch to understand keyline concepts, the real-life application to a spread like ours is a bit overwhelming.
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
actually, I paid a guy $22 for putting the data into a Google Earth format. The data itself can be found for free, in Missouri from the University of Missouri, but also from the USGS for many parts of the country.
(1) YOU DO NOT NEED AN OUTSIDE CONSULTANT FOR THIS PROJECT! Save your money; you can do this all by yourself.
(2) YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY OR RENT A SUBSOILER. You can make your own equipment if you have an average farm machine shop and common welding skills.
(3) What you need: A toolbar with 3/4 inch wide blades 12 to 16 inches deep spaced 2 feet apart on the tool bar. Very cheap and simple. No need to spend thousands of dollars on specialized machinery.
(4) Climb on your tractor and till on the contour. No consultant needed. You might want to mark contour lines. To establish contours use a water level. You can also equip your tractor with an electronic contour navigation system.
(5) Keyline "plow" your range land once each year for the first 5 years. Till infrequently thereafter, only as land requires.
(6) Alternatively (or in combination with Keyline tillage) rent or buy a trenching machine. Cut trenches 4 inches wide as deep as machinery allows. Excavate trenches every 50 feet along contour lines. Trenches trap and store rainwater in the subsoil for use in dry seasons. Agriculture is all about water management = replenishing aquifers. Raise water tables and your pastures and crops will thrive.
(7) Build check dams = weirs every 100 yards along ALL wadis = gullies = canyons = arroyos = gulches = coulees = washes on your ranch. Just dump rocks to form a mound 3 feet high. If rocks are small or runoff powerful, put rocks in wire gabions to prevent stones from being washed away. Purpose of weirs is to slow not stop water. Slow water has time to sink into the soil for aquifer recharge and long term storage. Slow water also drops sediment (sand, silt, clay, and organic matter) behind weirs. Plant drought adapted trees in soft soil that collects behind each check dam. Trees will thrive because they receive extra water and nutrients. Typical "canyons" multiply rainfall 10 to 20 times. 1 inch of rain falling in the uplands = 10 to 20 inches of water in a wadi. This is an enormous amount of water every drop of which should be collected, stored, and used for crops, pasture, and animals.
( You can use "barrages" = small earth dams to divert water from canyons into swales (shallow canals) for transport to pastures and fields. This is known as "flood irrigation" or "rainwater irrigation". When it rains, your grass gets watered.
(9) Contact me if you have any questions or require additional information. The above advice is "elementary watershed management" = technology dating back to Egyptian times.
For more information about old-fashioned biological agriculture please visit: www.agriculturesolutions.wordpress.com -or- www.worldagriculturesolutions.com -or- send your questions to: Agriculture Solutions, 413 Cedar Drive, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, 15108 USA -- or -- send an e-mail to: Eric Koperek = firstname.lastname@example.org