Monday, 29 August 2011

MIG and Mob

Durwood Gordon is typical of many of the farmers I met: Observant, willing to think through problems and happy to take the road less travelled.

For example, he practices managed intensive grazing (MIG) in the summer but a more intensive mob grazing during the grass-dormant winter months. He also, against the advice of his neighbours, sowed a mixture of big bluestem and other warm-season grasses (the neighbours claimed they would be grazed out within a few years; 15 years of excellent pasture management later, they are still the dominant species in the sward).

His cattle were some of the best I saw during my travels, well adapted to their all-grass regime (Durwood farms organically) with good rumen capacity and excellent conformation. His grasslands looked productive, despite the heat of Mississippi, and he'd installed a very good infrastructure of permanent electric fences, water sources and cow tracks to make this an easy-to-operate one man system.

A drilled stand of warm season grasses that has thrived under Durwood's grazing management

An unusual flytrap used by Durwood. The dark colour replicates an animal's hide. The flies try to fly underneath the 'body' and the transparent sheets below guide them instead into a liquid-filled trap

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