Milkwood Nick wrote: We received a substantial grant to fence all the riparian zones on our 1000 acre farm here in the mountains of NSW Australia. One of the conditions was that we were only allowed to "crash graze" the areas for a maximum of 6 days per year.
Stocking densities weren't defined, but at least that branch of government has some idea.
Joined: Aug 08, 2009
Location: Mudgee, NSW, Australia
Well they didn't specify a stocking rate..... so we could use a very high density for 2 days 3 times a year..... which would be my preference.
We are in a drought at the moment, have very poor soil structure and eroded banks with blackberry trying to recover the area.. at this stage I'm just going to keep stock out until we can get some more trees in there.
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My experience with paddock shift systems is that they seriously pump up the vegetation! My own personal experience reflects this. If you want more growth and lush next to the stream, include it in your rotation!
Gosh Paul and you have not written a paper on the allelopathetic effects of coniferas though you mention havign found out a lot about it maybe i have missed that forum. I know people who believe in simplifying and the simplify all sense out of things it is simpler for the authorities to say no live stock farming beside rivers but that sort of sumplifying in the end brings a lot of problems with it.
As i understood it from my father a usefull person when it comes to sharing information he has read, though he kept me pretty ignorant on somethings, I now live among those who share no information which i think is bad for the country, you end up with fewer people knowing anything, a very protective atitude to information seems to be normal here in Spain. My father read and i have read too that the problem with NPK for fish is that if there is a lot of nitrogen in the water a lot of weed starts to grow in the water and the weed takes up all the oxygen leaving none for the fish, a bit odd if you consider that plants release oxygen. The life in one of the great lakes got killed in this way if my memory serves me.
The truth is that putting too much NPK on land is a problem on all land, too high solutions of nitrogen burn out microorganism, be it nitrogen from manure or from chemical fertilisers i suppose that chemical fertilisers are more famouse as being bad for micro organisms because it is easier to get too much of them. You could say what is wrong with having no microorganisms, you can grow plants with the right chemical fertilisers microrganisms or not. Who knows what difference it makes to the earth that it vibrates with life or that it does not, it was microorganisms that created the atmosphere in our planet. We know that micro organisms are necessary for the natural processes that put nitrogen at the reach of plants if they aren't in the soil we depend on chemial fertilisers and we know that recently they have discovered that having a full set of microrganisms and fungi helps plants ward off disease. I dont know why turbid water is bad for fish you would have thought they had evolved to handle it as water gets turbid if there is any big rain event that carries a lot of mud into ponds. .agri rose macaskie.
Susan Monroe wrote:As for pigs not utterly destroying a landscape... I used to drive to work every day past a five-acre place that new owners had bought. They fenced off an area that was about 80x150' and brought in two small white piglets and a shelter, apparently to clean up the area, as a garden appeared afterward. It took very little time for those two little pigs to rototill that entire area. There was nothing left except two large trees at opposite corners of the enclosure. They wiped out everything else, EVERYTHING. And these were just little pigs, they disappeared before they got very big. Can you imagine how much damage a half-ton, always-hungry hog will do?Pigs are destructive.
It is unfortunate when people make generalizations from too little data about things they don't really understand. Your example is extremism and you can't extend that to all pigs or proper pastured pig farming. We raise about 300 pigs on pasture. They don't destroy the land. They graze the grasses, clovers, kale, beets, nuts and other forages. We've been doing this for years and our soils are gradually improving each year. We use managed rotational grazing techniques with our pigs, the same as we use with sheep and such. Along with them we run chickens, ducks and geese. It's a system and it works. Pigs are not destructive. It is the way that the person you saw doing it that was destructive. Don't confuse things.
Leah Sattler wrote:I have read through threads where people used pigs to take out.
Actually, pigs are not very good at removing trees or stumps. This is more of a myth.
Mark Vander Meer wrote:How do you measure/ qualify soil improvments?
Species density, diversity, growth rates, soil tests, depth of top soil, etc.
Joined: May 09, 2009
This is to make it weasy to see if your soil is getting better. Apart from tests by sccientists there are signs any non-expert can whatch out for. To make it very easy for beginers here all the information i have on whatching you soil get better . If the problems you had with the soil disappear is one. I had clay soils, too heavy to dig without gritting my teeth to go out and dig them and suddenly even quite quickly they have got lighter, and drained better, the clay has broken up so it must be full enough of organic matter not to stick together in a heavy and sticky messy mass. There are still bit of heavy clay in some parts of the garden and i can only guess why some places got better sooner than others. The bits that are highly planted with shrubs are the bits where the clay stopped being so heavy and plastic and horrible for anything but pottery. One of these is a spots where the soil got better quicker is where the plants got water in summer sometimes and fertilizer . The colour changes as organic matter dirties it up. My soil used to leave our clothes red if we happened to sit on the ground in the first two years i owned the garden and now i would be hard put ot it to say where you could find red clay on the land. I have not tried with sandy soils maybe you would notice them getting more consistent and holding water better. The presence of more earth worms in the soil is a good sign . In dry parts of the world it is ants that pull organic matter into the ground which is a reason to worry a bit about Paul Stamets miracle termite ants cure, will he kill the ants that bring the vegetation.
The wild plants that grow in your garden change as the soil gets better, different plants are adapted to different conditions so when things get better some plants stop growing there and others start to appear.
Also if the soil is poor the plants will grow up fast and high and stringy in spring and seed early. When they have a fairer chance to seed without being in a rush about it because the soil is better and stays damp longer. In better soils, they will grow slower and less high and thicker and seed later in the summer. I have yet to get a very heavy crop of grass. i read about this in Heidi Gildemeister's book Mediterranean gardening a waterwise approach that is published in America.It is a three star gardening book book published in spainish and english, that mainly tells you how to grow plants that are right for your climate so you don't have to use much water and how to mulch so as to use less water.
You can do a bit of easy home tests. You put a teaspoonfull of soil in a glass of water the organic matter will float and the sand will sink and the clay particles will leave the water looking cloudy for a long while, being to small to settle out quickly. The test to see if it is acid or not is easy it is like a pregnancy test it the test paper comes out one color it is one thing and if it comes out the other an other the test to see if you have pahtogens in the water is easy you put in some powder and if the water turns deep wine red colour it has pathogens in it. I have not studied this last in any depth. You can taste the soil to see if it seems to you acid or alkaline but it might give you worms which is a good reason not to taste it. That it sticks together into crumbs of soil, sand or has broken up into crumbs, clay, is a good sign and it has to do with the glomalin in the soil that falls of the hypha of mycorhyzal fungi and is sticky so it stick crumbs of soil together and full of carbon and can last forty odd years in the soil. If you see soil that sticks together in to crumbs you will recognise it though you might think you dont know enough to recognise that sort of thing. . Scientists can of course find out a lot more things, how much glomalin you have in your soil, how much of what minerals, how acid or alkaline for example, how much humates you have in the soil as well as how much organic material. With carbon credits being paidn to farmers it is worth collecting organic matter in your soil though i a m not sure they pay you enough to be worth the effort except that it is a worth while effort anyway. A soil with more organic matter in it apart from beign more workable absorbes and retains mor ewater reducing the need to water it. agfri rose macaskie.
from: paul wheaton on 25-04-2009, 20:21:07 At his first presentation, there was a Q&A at the end. I asked if he would run pigs in a riparian area. "Absolutely!" and then somebody sitting behind me made some sort of snide remark about how that is not salmon safe.
Did you run pigs in your riparian area and if so, how did it go?
Joined: Nov 21, 2010
rose macaskie wrote:carbon credits being paidn to farmers
This is an unfortunate illusion. I own a lot of forest and farm land. We do sustainable forestry and farming. I can not get any carbon credits. It is the carbon traders like Gal Ore who are making the money - not the farmers and foresters who are actually soaking up the carbon. It is deceit. And Gal Ore drives it with his hot air.
Joined: Jun 20, 2010
another huge problem with Salmon is sediments in their spawning grounds. Clearcut logging, traditional logging, and public land grazing all contributing. So officals decided to make buffer zones along streams. Yes it is better not to have clearcut or traditional ag field come right up to stream (or have them at all). Livestock not managed will often muddy one area of stream and degrade it. Managed intensive grazing heals streams but public opinion has not caught up. Lots of folks are skeptical of profit driven ideas (clear air act, healthy forests initiative etc).
Joined: Jun 07, 2011
Leah Sattler wrote:...if you want to do something with your land that will be detrimental to the waterway that also passes through mine I would be pretty ticked off.
Background: My father is currently planting trees and fencing off (so-many??) feet from the creek the runs through the lowest canyon on our 1200 acres. He only runs 35 head of cattle. The creek is approx. 2 -4 inches deep during the summer, spring time run-off makes barbed-wire fence rebuilding at every creek crossing a PURE JOY every year! But to the astonishment of the geniuses coming up with the riparian rights laws and programs...NOT ONE Native has pleaded with my father to set up gill nets along the banks of the creek for the HUGE Salmon runs. (please note the subtle use of sarcasm) Fact is, a bigger "sponge" is needed upstream. And if someone is doing something to their land that (a) increases depth of the water table further upstream, (b) regulates seasonal run-off so that there is LESS erosion downstream and (c) leaves the H2O in as good or BETTER condition leaving their property than when it entered...I'd say that you should probably bake a pie, walk upstream and deliver it to that neighbor with a "Thank You!" and a smile.
Here's a solution.
Take measurements....where the river/stream ENTERS a property AND where it LEAVES...at the same place each time. Measure flow (at least twice a year...spring melt/run-off and end of summer)...in both places Measure pathogens...in both places Set an agreed upon acceptable level of scientific variation (when taking initial baseline measurements)
Then set up a reward and punishment system.
If what you do leaves things (in this case water) in as good or better condition than what you received it, you are either "even" or you earn a reward (maybe a significant tax break or something of that nature)...However, if what you do leaves things in worse condition, you will be penalized (not only for what you're doing to your downstream neighbors, but also for what you're doing to MOTHER...Earth). Your punishment should increase exponentially and drastically the further "out of bounds" your activities leaves the water after it runs through your property. In other words, a good law would make running a CAFO on your land (regardless of overall size) prohibitively expensive.
Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Location: rainier OR
riparian zones on salmon streams should be heavily wooded which would keep the stock off most of the stream bank without fencing, however if the riparian zone is screwed already keeping the stock off the banks is just one of the things needed to get shade and woody debris needed for healthy fisheries back.
National Geographic Wolf Wars was an article in March 2010 which attempted to show that the reintroduction of wolves to the Yellowstone area was beneficial to the entire ecosystem. There is a graphic in the article which shows the difference in the riparian areas before and after the reintroduction: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/03/wolf-wars/wolf-illustration
Would running pigs responsibly not produce somewhat similar effects. I have seen running pigs on my rented land that over the past year the diversity of plant species has greatly increased. Then I read in Holzer's Permaculture that he has observed the same thing and mentions a study done in Austria where they recorded an increase in plant species. Do we know anything more about that study? I'd like to see it. Perhaps I need to do my own study?
I realize pigs are not wolves, but the point is that they could provide a benefit rather than be a detriment if managed well. And that is the key difference, as when we put up fences we are taking on the total welfare of animals.
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
The reintroduction of the wolf in Yellowstone served to bring the balance back into order. Wolves are keen predators, and as such have reduced the overpopulation of browsers that had taken over in an unnatural shortage of predators. The pig, while quite useful in the proper management of open and wooded spaces, can never replace a well qualified predator in that role.
Mankind's love of deer, and fear/loathing of predators such as coyotes and wolves has brought around a totally unnatural and destructive balance of too many browsers/grazers into many of our wooded regions. If we keep killing every wolf/coyote we see, we can sit in our rocking chairs on our porches and watch our forests disappear. Forests can only survive in a reasonably well balanced ecosystem.
Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Location: rainier OR
predator pressure keeps deer and elk off the banks because the wolfs like to hang out by the water too.
pigs will increase diversity by creating disturbance, but stream banks are a bad place for frequent disturbance. pigs in particular due to rooting and wallowing need to not be on the banks of a salmon stream they will root out the woody veg that needs to be there.
Joined: Sep 25, 2010
Thanks to Brice and John - I can appreciate that it is a natural balance that has been restored.
That provokes my mind to ask the question where are pigs native to and what happens there?
Also, are there pictures of pre-post pigs in riparian areas anywhere? Any from Krameterhof?
It seems like it's not a difficult thing to determine stocking density, stocking rate and length of time in an area through a little experimentation.
And does any of this relate to pig breeds? Pigs are known for digging up pasture, but my Tamworths (un-ringed) only do minimal damage when rotated frequently.
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
The history of domesticated pigs dates to at least the first expansion of agriculture, when agriculture expanded beyond growing cereals/grains. Pigs are scavengers by nature and quickly learned that a well fed human population would leave scrap piles. The humans, likewise learned that scrap piles were a good place to hunt boars. The family living closest to the scrap pile quickly became providers of meat to the village, and a symbiotic relationship began. As agriculture expanded beyond the plains into the woods, it was found that the pigs could clear land for the human expansion beyond the edges. Garbage was thrown deeper and deeper into the brush, and the pigs continued to provide new farmland for an expanding human population. The domestication of the pig was as important to agricultural growth as was the domestication of draft animals which came later.
Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
This is a complicated issue, and from what I gather over the life of the thread, we are badly served by attitudes that shut down the discussion of solutions to such a problem. I think, personally, that a sausage-link formation of hugelhedges made up of fruit and berry shrubs and trees, perhaps some nut trees as well, lying parallel to the river's edge would act as a filter to catch any fecal matter heading via runoff to the water, and as an impediment to larger, destructive animals, domesticated or wild. My personal approach will likely be to create a pond and stream system fed from the existant watercourse, but physically decoupled and forcing me to deal with my own pollution problems within the system.
Adding willows, or one's poop beast(s) of choice along the waters' edge would mean shading of the river, and the cleaning such trees do in the course of feeding, meaning a river that leaves the property cleaner than it entered, especially if downstream from big ag, past or present. But to say that an issue must be avoided entirely simply takes away our ability to use ingenuity to make things better. Besides, if we don't figure out land-use models that fix problems of water pollution, what do we do with our waterfowl, stop keeping them? I thought it was an axiom of permaculture, that we don't have problems or excesses in our systems; we simply have a dearth of those things within the system that feed on those problem things. Too much nitrogen? Add poop beasts. Too many moles and voles? A richness of pig food. An overabundance of insect life in your garden patch? Mmmm, chicken feed! There are no problems, only solutions (who knew John Lennon was a permie?).
Joined: Oct 16, 2009
Location: Tonasket washington
As a commercial fishermen deeply into salmon issues. I would say keep the livestock out of the streams. not for the reasons folks think; over the last 60 years an idea was floated hat if we got rid of all the obstructions in rivers, streams and creeks we could get rid of flooding, keep mosquitos at bay and make things better all around. so we removed obstructions killed off the beavers in the upper creeks, deepened channels and all the other stuff that would make our rivers flow fast and pure. Of course no one told any of us that by doing all this we would be killing off the salmon habitat by stripping all the pools out of the system. then we decided that we needed to increase sport fishing in the west so we had to introduce better game fish into some river systems, striped bass, pike, pickerel, muskie, bass, Etc. We wanted these sport fish where the most of the out f state anglers where coming; from port orford oregon north to tacoma, right in the best most productive spawning grounds on the continent. now all these game fish like to eat little fish and all of them will eat any little fish they can as many as they can. Salmon runs that might have survived the dam's and clearing of the rivers of obstructions soon fell to lows so low they have almost become extinct.
whelp now we got folks want to run livestock in rivers and creeks, spray livestock down with bug dope, clear brush out of streams to let livestock drink, Etc. and what little salmon habitat we have left gets tore up. its not just the introduced predatory fish, or turbidity or vegetation removal, or toxins, or runoff from clear cuts, or warm run off from cleared farm land, or creeks used as junk yards, or lack of obstructions to make spawning pools, or livestock turning the few pools into mud wallows, or goats stripping the trees of bark, or lack of beavers, or dams, or over fishing with nets, or mine leachate, Its all of this combined. You can bet each and every river, stream, creek, and riparian area now days that has any thing thats going to damage it even a little bit is going to add to the whole mess of problems the salmon runs already have heaped on there plates.
want to run cows down to the creek for water then recreate the riparian environments that the cow, trapper and plow have removed. restore the watersheds so the land can again purify water and make habitat for salmon. the sooner this is done the sooner folks can run livestock into riparian zones with out worrying about some fed hammering them for it.
Need more info?
Ernie and Erica
Wood burning stoves, Rocket Mass Heaters, DIY,
Stove plans, Boat plans, General permiculture information, Arts and crafts, Fire science, Find it at www.ernieanderica.info
Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Ernie, that's exactly what I'm saying. I'm obviously not the only one who thinks that some well-considered natural reconstruction is necessary, and that we can't afford to even simply abandon the damaged land; it has the ability to heal itself, but I think that to bring back the salmon, some deliberate effort is required. We can't afford to mess it up, though, and so I feel that if it is riparian grazing that we want, we need to dig artificial ponds and streams in a circuit separate from the natural watercourse. That way, any accidents happen within our own systems, and they can be handled. Once an isolated system of ponds and streams is being managed to the point where a salmon population or analog species is thriving, it can be inferred that the same steps taken to make the artificial system healthy will work for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the natural system. I don't believe in a hands-off policy with nature, as if the pollution and degradation are ongoing, we need to take whatever steps on-site to rectify the situation, creating those water features salmon need for spawning and feeding, cooling water temperatures by encouraging a riparian canop