Crafty Farmers

Just got back home from another fun, amazing and informative clinic with Manuel Trigo, on my Lusitano mares. Thanks to him I am finally beginning to understand horse training. It’s only taken 50 years! Piece of cake. Now we’re back to work on the ranch. I’m riding out to prowl the coastal patch. As I ride across the field, I see a miracle. The grassbur infestation is nearly gone! Our Corriente cattle have eaten the majority of the malignant, pain producing, seeds. However they have also considerably reduced the biomass of the field. Another few days and I’m going to have to move them to another field lest we overgraze the Bermuda and invite weed infestation. Which reminds me of the AgriLife extension class I just attended in which we Texans were warned about the deleterious effects of overgrazing. The other thing I noticed is that owing to the lower temperatures that we humans are now enjoying, the Bermuda grass, which loves heat, rain, and sunlight, is beginning to slow down its growth. Enter the no till pasture drill! We are now starting to plant oats in all of our hay meadows and pastures. I know it seems a little late, but if we had planted earlier, the coastal bermuda was still flourishing and it would have prevented the little baby oats from growing. Also now that we’re closer to frost date, we may escape losing our oat crop to army worms! Yes, it’s true, the challenges to successful agricultural production in the south of Texas are legion. So we have to be crafty farmers and ranchers. And even so, the one variable we cannot control is weather. The time for abundance in production in Texas is past as we have also had an enormous increase in our population in recent decades. Now is the season for science, experience, and novel ideas to take the helm as the work of feeding that population meets these challenges to our success. If the climate won’t help us our God-given brains must!

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