Farming Thread

john_Jea

Robin
Other Christian
All I know is that fertilizing and spraying my vineyard with all modern chemicals gives me 5 times more yield.

I tried a very conservative approach in the last 3 years and it clearly failed.
I could potentially have done better, if I had introduced chicken tractors. That could have fertilized the soil enough to get back to respectable yields.
But there is no escaping powdery mildew without chemicals.
Is it a commercial size vineyard?

Chemical fertilizer will always give a short term benefit of increased growth at the expense of long term soil health. I'm not to familiar with how to grow crops where the soil is kept exposed in between plants in a regenerative way. I've been more focused on forage. Have you tried fertilizing with compost/manure?
 

NickK

 
Banned
Orthodox
Is it a commercial size vineyard?

Chemical fertilizer will always give a short term benefit of increased growth at the expense of long term soil health. I'm not to familiar with how to grow crops where the soil is kept exposed in between plants in a regenerative way. I've been more focused on forage. Have you tried fertilizing with compost/manure?
It's a 2.5 acres family vineyard. Small by American standards, but it can feed a large family here.

I don't think constantly bringing manure from outside is sustainable. It's expensive and time consuming.
It's much better to have the animals already living in your farm have your soil fertilized without any effort.

But when I planted the vineyard, I had no idea about these things.

Now I plan to build 10 chicken tractors (25 chickens each) and move them daily between the vine rows.
Their manure will be enough to fully fertilize my vines without any chemicals. And get rid of weeds once and for all.

But I still can't figure out how to escape mildew without spraying.
 

john_Jea

Robin
Other Christian
It's a 2.5 acres family vineyard. Small by American standards, but it can feed a large family here.

I don't think constantly bringing manure from outside is sustainable. It's expensive and time consuming.
It's much better to have the animals already living in your farm have your soil fertilized without any effort.

But when I planted the vineyard, I had no idea about these things.

Now I plan to build 10 chicken tractors (25 chickens each) and move them daily between the vine rows.
Their manure will be enough to fully fertilize my vines without any chemicals. And get rid of weeds once and for all.

But I still can't figure out how to escape mildew without spraying.
I'm not sure about the mildew. Over here it mainly sets on one type of grass which makes it unappetizing to livestock since it messes up there gut acid levels. I have only heard of workarounds but no solutions.

The chicken tractors idea I like, sounds like a pretty big operation. Will you be supplementing with grain?
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Regenerative farming has its place, and I admire people who are actually trying to become fully sustainable on a given farm but agree with above comment that while fertilizer is achievable, pesticides are a different ball game, and absolutely necessary especially with high investment crops. I like the idea of bringing the micro nutrients and micro organisms back into the ground, but it's a super long term process. The elites do in my opinion have some sort of agenda, the Irony is the Rockefeller elite system of pesticides and Petro fertilizer, large farms being replaced by their new solution. So in some respects they are trying to fix the problems created by their own solutions. Regenerative farming like rotational grazing is nice, but many of these nice ideas can turn ugly pretty quickly when mandates come into effect.
 

NickK

 
Banned
Orthodox
I'm not sure about the mildew. Over here it mainly sets on one type of grass which makes it unappetizing to livestock since it messes up there gut acid levels. I have only heard of workarounds but no solutions.

The chicken tractors idea I like, sounds like a pretty big operation. Will you be supplementing with grain?
Oh yes, they can't be sustained with bugs and weeds only, especially on winter months they will need grain. Some say the analogy is 30 grain 70 foraging, butI've read the ratio can be different depending where you are.

The chick tractors are cheap and relatively easy to make, the investment is not big. Even if I sell no eggs, the money I save by not having to buy fertilizer makes them worth the effort.
Regenerative farming has its place, and I admire people who are actually trying to become fully sustainable on a given farm but agree with above comment that while fertilizer is achievable, pesticides are a different ball game, and absolutely necessary especially with high investment crops. I like the idea of bringing the micro nutrients and micro organisms back into the ground, but it's a super long term process. The elites do in my opinion have some sort of agenda, the Irony is the Rockefeller elite system of pesticides and Petro fertilizer, large farms being replaced by their new solution. So in some respects they are trying to fix the problems created by their own solutions. Regenerative farming like rotational grazing is nice, but many of these nice ideas can turn ugly pretty quickly when mandates come into effect.
All the elderly farmers here say that in the olden days there weren't nearly as many pests as now. Powdery mildew and such things were unheard of or very limited back then. Chemicals have made pests very strong.
 
Last edited:

john_Jea

Robin
Other Christian
Oh yes, they can't be sustained with bugs and weeds only, especially on winter months they will need grain. Some say the analogy is 30 grain 70 foraging, butI've read the ratio can be different depending where you are.

The chick tractors are cheap and relatively easy to make, the investment is not big. Even if I sell no eggs, the money I save by not having to buy fertilizer makes them worth the effort.
Well chickens are like pigs in that you can feed them whatever and they'll eat it, and if they don't it will just compost on the ground so its never a loss. Are you planning on buying grain or growing it yourself?

Regenerative farming has its place, and I admire people who are actually trying to become fully sustainable on a given farm but agree with above comment that while fertilizer is achievable, pesticides are a different ball game, and absolutely necessary especially with high investment crops. I like the idea of bringing the micro nutrients and micro organisms back into the ground, but it's a super long term process. The elites do in my opinion have some sort of agenda, the Irony is the Rockefeller elite system of pesticides and Petro fertilizer, large farms being replaced by their new solution. So in some respects they are trying to fix the problems created by their own solutions. Regenerative farming like rotational grazing is nice, but many of these nice ideas can turn ugly pretty quickly when mandates come into effect.
Mandates? Are you expecting Industrial agricultural practices to be outlawed or are you speaking hypothetically? The elites abandoning industrial agriculture and turning to to regenerative farming might make sense if we see a sharp population decline, unless it was used to blow up the price of food and yet that could place power and money in to the hands of farmers. A regenerative farming economy doesn't seem to fit into big agro.
All the elderly farmers here say that in the olden days there weren't nearly as many pests as now. Powdery mildew and such things were unheard of or very limited back then. Chemicals have made pests very strong.
I also suspect the selective breeding of plants, every increase in certain qualities results in a decrease in others including resistance to pests. One could probably breed a pest resistant breed at the cost of quality/size, sort of how most of plants are in the wild.
 

NickK

 
Banned
Orthodox
Well chickens are like pigs in that you can feed them whatever and they'll eat it, and if they don't it will just compost on the ground so its never a loss. Are you planning on buying grain or growing it yourself?


Mandates? Are you expecting Industrial agricultural practices to be outlawed or are you speaking hypothetically? The elites abandoning industrial agriculture and turning to to regenerative farming might make sense if we see a sharp population decline, unless it was used to blow up the price of food and yet that could place power and money in to the hands of farmers. A regenerative farming economy doesn't seem to fit into big agro.

I also suspect the selective breeding of plants, every increase in certain qualities results in a decrease in others including resistance to pests. One could probably breed a pest resistant breed at the cost of quality/size, sort of how most of plants are in the wild.
I initially plan to initially buy the grain I need, and after a year or two try to allocate some space to grow my own.

As for mandates, many are already in place where I live. The climate change spell is in full effect.
They banned farmers to drill water wells, because "the phreatic zone is decreasing" (the underground water deposits). At the same time oceans are rising. Funny how that works huh?

There is also massive central planning in EU farming. There are regulations mandating the "correct" shape of a cucumber. If you don't comply you don't get subsidies.

Their goal is to tranform farmers from conservative free thinkers to leftist government slaves, relying on the system for water, fertilizer, seeds, rented land, leased machinery.
 

kel

 
Banned
But there is no escaping powdery mildew without chemicals.
Mildew on what, and what do you spray to get rid of it? Hydrogen peroxide is (to me, speaking generally, not in terms of its suitability for whatever your case is necessarily) kind of the ideal chemical treatment when it's an option because it disinfects and then breaks down into water and (mono-)oxygen.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Well chickens are like pigs in that you can feed them whatever and they'll eat it, and if they don't it will just compost on the ground so its never a loss. Are you planning on buying grain or growing it yourself?


Mandates? Are you expecting Industrial agricultural practices to be outlawed or are you speaking hypothetically? The elites abandoning industrial agriculture and turning to to regenerative farming might make sense if we see a sharp population decline, unless it was used to blow up the price of food and yet that could place power and money in to the hands of farmers. A regenerative farming economy doesn't seem to fit into big agro.

I also suspect the selective breeding of plants, every increase in certain qualities results in a decrease in others including resistance to pests. One could probably breed a pest resistant breed at the cost of quality/size, sort of how most of plants are in the wild.
Well I haven't seen anything like a mandate for sustainable ag but the applications I make for government subsidies In Canada are related to rotational grazing, delayed haying so the birds can nest (increased grasslands). Some of them are actually pretty practical and intelligent, but then of course climate change over arches all things. I wonder why they can't support ag in a normal way, something like a new farmer fund, but instead it all has this green lens. I do think, that there will be a growing war on industrial agriculture in favour of beyond meat, lab grown substitutes, vertical farming etc on the way. What we see from the elites Is that they usually take left causes like the treatment of animals in these large Farms and co opt it. They will need to strike a serious blow to corporate agriculture in order to really move their fake meat front and center on the menu. There is also a push through I believe agenda 2030 about how cow farts warm up the atmosphere and cause climate change. It's hard not to laugh at this stuff but id keep an eye out. I follow ice age farmer for war on food, there is a quiet thread on here under his name
 
Last edited:

NickK

 
Banned
Orthodox
Well I haven't seen anything like a mandate for sustainable ag but the applications I make for government subsidies In Canada are related to rotational grazing, delayed haying so the birds can nest (increased grasslands). Some of them are actually pretty practical and intelligent, but then of course climate change over arches all things. I wonder why they can't support ag in a normal way, something like a new farmer fund, but instead it all has this green lens. I do think, that there will be a growing war on industrial agriculture in favour of beyond meat, lab grown substitutes, vertical farming etc on the way. What we see from the elites Is that they usually take left causes like the treatment of animals in these large Farms and co opt it. They will need to strike a serious blow to corporate agriculture in order to really move their fake meat front and center on the menu. There is also a push through I believe agenda 2030 about how cow farts warm up the atmosphere and cause climate change. It's hard not to laugh at this stuff but id keep an eye out. I follow ice age farmer for war on food, there is a quiet thread on here under his name
I have some questions regarding pasture land, as I plan to rent 6 acres of fertile land next to my vineyard and turn it into pasture for cows.
The land is fertile and irrigated, weather conditions are very favourable for grass (4 cuts per year).

How may free range cows would you say can be supported?
Do you till and sow every year or do you seed perennials every x years and what types?
Is a DIY mobile winter shed viable or will I need a permanent structure? (winters aren't very harsh here)
Can I use electric fenses only and skip the more expensive permanent fenses?
 

Coja Petrus Uscan

Crow
Orthodox Inquirer
Gold Member
XQx0EKvm.png
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
I have some questions regarding pasture land, as I plan to rent 6 acres of fertile land next to my vineyard and turn it into pasture for cows.
The land is fertile and irrigated, weather conditions are very favourable for grass (4 cuts per year).

How may free range cows would you say can be supported?
Do you till and sow every year or do you seed perennials every x years and what types?
Is a DIY mobile winter shed viable or will I need a permanent structure? (winters aren't very harsh here)
Can I use electric fenses only and skip the more expensive permanent fenses?
Rule of thumb for cows as I've heard is 1 per acre, but you might be able to get a few more If it's irrigated and the land is particularly fertile. Alot of this comes down to pasture health and if you are able to move the cattle around and let parts of it rest (rotational grazing). With 6 acres you might be able to have two or perhaps 3 little paddocks (fields). But you could just leave it open to start and see how it goes. Pasture is basically a hay field which is usually composed of grass and legumes (alfalfa). You can plant in the fall or the spring depending on your climate and when you are able to get it onto the land. It might be advisable to let the field really establish and let the roots strengthen before putting the cattle on. Alternatively you could start with a few and then add a couple more as you go. On the fencing requirement I'm a little less certain. Im pretty sure electric can be used, but if power goes out you wouldn't have much keeping them in there. I'd get to know a few local guys who do it and you can hear their approaches which are probably all a little unique, but the same in many ways
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
Also once you have your hay field/pasture planted it could last 5-20 years. If you have alot of cattle then they will stomp on it and wreck it, but you can keep overseeding it and fixing it up as you go. Also weather is always a factor , but your irrigation should save you if there's a little drought
 

Laner

Crow
Protestant
Gold Member

Is it really any wonder that these types of evil humans starved out farmers during all their numerous reigns.

But last hay cut of the year here in Canada's west coast. The cranberries are starting now and our field should be flooded next week! Its going to be an amazing year, this summer was amazing - with the exception of berries who had issues with an early heat wave.
 

john_Jea

Robin
Other Christian
With the upcoming rise in fertilizer prizes I have been looking into alternatives to chemical fertilizer. We already use manure but by the time we apply it to the fields it is pretty void of nitrogen. Any way manure could be worked on or enhanced through some kind of compost or other ways would be beneficial. Good example from Joel Salatin:



Any suggestions?

In other news a big win for farmers where I am at, slaughtering sheep and goats at home to sell is now allowed given adequate conditions. With the supply chain issues I am becoming more interested in being able to sell directly to the consumer and cut out the middle man.
 

NoMoreTO

Hummingbird
Catholic
I participated in a fall round up of about 30 bison recently. Bulls, Cows, Calves and all. The farmer wanted to give them some deworming medicine, and send one off to the butcher. There was 7 or 8 of us.

We began with the bison in a large holding pen, perhaps 40 yards in diameter. Our goal was to pressure them into a corral. We lined up and walked towards them and this pressured them all at once into the corral. At which point the gate was shut behind them. This took a little stones I have to admit, these are big animals, and a heck of a lot faster than we are. The animals were then run through the corral in smaller groups, into a crowding tub, and then one by one into an alley, and finally into a squeeze chute where the medicine was administered. All in all it was a good day, nice weather and pretty amazing to see these animals in action. No animals or people were hurt, and I didn't see any "close calls"

The animals fired out of that shoot so fast, I have to say it was pretty impressive how fast they were. The other thing that impressed me was how strong they were, how muscular they were compared to cattle which are more docile. The whole process was about 2 hours, it was a bit of an adrenaline rush especially in the beginning.
 

DanielH

Ostrich
Moderator
Orthodox
With the upcoming rise in fertilizer prizes I have been looking into alternatives to chemical fertilizer. We already use manure but by the time we apply it to the fields it is pretty void of nitrogen. Any way manure could be worked on or enhanced through some kind of compost or other ways would be beneficial. Good example from Joel Salatin:



Any suggestions?

In other news a big win for farmers where I am at, slaughtering sheep and goats at home to sell is now allowed given adequate conditions. With the supply chain issues I am becoming more interested in being able to sell directly to the consumer and cut out the middle man.

Worm compost and tea. This is something which may be expensive but with rising fertilizer costs it is something to look into.

This is something I haven't shared too much on the forum, but I'm an avid home-scale worm farmer, at most I had about 10 square feet of composting worms in three bins. There are typically 1 pound of worms per square foot in a passively managed or heavily "brown" container, and 2lb/sqft in a more green and actively managed composting system. They rapidly compost anything that was once alive outside of bones, citrus, large chunks of green wood, and some other exceptions, consuming about a quarter of their bodyweight a day. Crops may be fertilized by diluting their castings (poop, aka vermipost) in water, optionally fermenting it with some sugars such as molasses and aerating it, and then spraying it onto crops.

Worm tea has distinct advantages over typical fertilizers and manure.
  • It is a natural insect repellant. There is a compound in worm castings which dissolves chitin, the exoskeletons of pests. It won't kill them, but it repels them, comparable to a skin irritant to us.
  • It is massively probiotic. Worm castings contain many beneficial microbes for plants which prevent harmful diseases from taking hold in your plants.
  • Worm castings contain a growth hormone for plants.
Worm compost does not have as high of an N/P/K ratio as normal fertilizers, but that is counteracted by it being more available to the plants. Normal fertilizer: Vermipost:: Cheap elemental multivitamins: Expensive plant based multivitamins.

Here is a comparison from a small scale experiment using alfalfa:


I've read three books on worm farming and I recommend The Worm Farmer's Handbook by Rhonda Sherman for mid to large scale operations.

I've personally used worm castings and tea on my garden with great success. I had plants that were yellowing and seemed to stop growing make a full recovery.

Worms are surprisingly resilient, in outdoor conditions, European Nightcrawlers can survive zones 7 and probably 6 winters easily, while "Red Wigglers" are better for slightly hotter climates. For colder climates, Canadian Nightcrawlers are a good choice. They also eat a lot more than you'd expect. They love cardboard and will even eat cereal boxes and white paper.

 
Top