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Thread: New Farmer asking the community for help.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    New Farmer asking the community for help.

    Hi,

    Hello everyone, my name is Marin and I am new to the forum and I really need your help. I am joining from India; from the state of Mizoram to be exact, since it is hard to find intellectual and active community forum such as this, anyway, I am trying to setup a very small livestock farm (6 acres) where I can have maybe 1 or 2 dairy cows with some goats, some pigs, some laying hens and some rabbits and a small vegetable garden if possible, kind of permaculture type thing.

    I want to supplement my livestock with legumes and grasses to cut feed cost, I want to free range my chickens, goats and cows while the pigs and the rabbits have a permanent home.

    However, my soil test comes back with a very disheartening result, my soil PH averages at 4.65, Nitrogen averages at 236 kg/ha, Phosphorus averages at 2.63 kg/ha and Potassium averages at 9851.85 kg/ha. Potassium varies wildly where some have only 150 kg, 250 feet away it rises to 8097.6 kg. All soil samples are taken at around 6 inch depth and at an interval of around 250 feet. Also, here in my state we are practicing slash and burn for farming so the land has been slash and will be burned; hopefully for the last time, by the end of February 2020 which will add some ash to the soil and may increased the PH level of the soil a little.

    So, I would like to ask my respected seniors in the livestock farming field on how to go about this, what legumes and grass should I plant on my soil? I would also like to mentioned that some of the legumes seeds are really hard to get here in India.

    I would really really be thankful if you could help a fellow farmer out. I have all the document like the contour drawings of the land, pictures, etc if you want to help with how and where I should put the animals, the gardens etc. I can email you.

    Thanks again.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Holderness
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    Re: New Farmer asking the community for help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Young_McDonald View Post
    Hi,

    Hello everyone, my name is Marin and I am new to the forum and I really need your help. I am joining from India; from the state of Mizoram to be exact, since it is hard to find intellectual and active community forum such as this, anyway, I am trying to setup a very small livestock farm (6 acres) where I can have maybe 1 or 2 dairy cows with some goats, some pigs, some laying hens and some rabbits and a small vegetable garden if possible, kind of permaculture type thing.

    I want to supplement my livestock with legumes and grasses to cut feed cost, I want to free range my chickens, goats and cows while the pigs and the rabbits have a permanent home.

    However, my soil test comes back with a very disheartening result, my soil PH averages at 4.65, Nitrogen averages at 236 kg/ha, Phosphorus averages at 2.63 kg/ha and Potassium averages at 9851.85 kg/ha. Potassium varies wildly where some have only 150 kg, 250 feet away it rises to 8097.6 kg. All soil samples are taken at around 6 inch depth and at an interval of around 250 feet. Also, here in my state we are practicing slash and burn for farming so the land has been slash and will be burned; hopefully for the last time, by the end of February 2020 which will add some ash to the soil and may increased the PH level of the soil a little.

    So, I would like to ask my respected seniors in the livestock farming field on how to go about this, what legumes and grass should I plant on my soil? I would also like to mentioned that some of the legumes seeds are really hard to get here in India.

    I would really really be thankful if you could help a fellow farmer out. I have all the document like the contour drawings of the land, pictures, etc if you want to help with how and where I should put the animals, the gardens etc. I can email you.

    Thanks again.
    My very first and immediate reaction is you cannot go anywhere unless you put the PH right!
    jack caley.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2020
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    Re: New Farmer asking the community for help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    My very first and immediate reaction is you cannot go anywhere unless you put the PH right!
    jack caley.
    Yes, that is what I am trying to do. After burning the dried slash plants I will be adding limestone and then tilled it in with the wood ash. I understand that the PH will go up slowly over a year or so, however, I cannot just left the farm to be taken over by weeds again, so my plight is what plant will be the best for suppressing weeds and feeding the livestock.
    Also, forget about the data on the Potassium content. something is wrong with that particular result.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2013
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    Tasmania
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    Re: New Farmer asking the community for help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    My very first and immediate reaction is you cannot go anywhere unless you put the PH right!
    jack caley.
    Maybe, but there is a lot of information which we do not know e.g. details of climate.

    Here, in cool (well, mostly, we had a 40C day yesterday!) temperate climate with an average 600mm rainfall (not this year though; maybe only 60% of that!) we can grow good clover/ryegrass pasture in Permian mudstone soils of around 5pH.

    For us, the trick is to use suitable clovers, the seeds of which are first coated with a gum and rhizobia mix, then a coating of limestone powder. The clover and ryegrass seeds are usually broadcast with single superphosphate, the lime coating protecting the bacteria on the clover from the acid in the super phosphate. The lime also provides a micro environment of higher pH in which the clover seeds can establish.

    All I am saying is that a low pH does not necessarily prevent agricultural development. That said, I have no idea if any part of our system could be translated to the Original Poster's conditions.

    JV
    Agtronix - the home of the Weedswiper

  5. #5
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    India
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    Re: New Farmer asking the community for help.

    Quote Originally Posted by john maddock View Post
    Maybe, but there is a lot of information which we do not know e.g. details of climate.

    Here, in cool (well, mostly, we had a 40C day yesterday!) temperate climate with an average 600mm rainfall (not this year though; maybe only 60% of that!) we can grow good clover/ryegrass pasture in Permian mudstone soils of around 5pH.

    For us, the trick is to use suitable clovers, the seeds of which are first coated with a gum and rhizobia mix, then a coating of limestone powder. The clover and ryegrass seeds are usually broadcast with single superphosphate, the lime coating protecting the bacteria on the clover from the acid in the super phosphate. The lime also provides a micro environment of higher pH in which the clover seeds can establish.

    All I am saying is that a low pH does not necessarily prevent agricultural development. That said, I have no idea if any part of our system could be translated to the Original Poster's conditions.

    JV
    I am so sorry for not posting the climate condition, my farm lies about 400 m above sea level, the climate is generally warm and temperate. The average annual temperature is 27 Celcius. Precipitation averages to 100 inch per year (2540 mm). March to October is the hottest time with the most rainfall. We have the tropic of cancer running right in the middle of out state meaning the farm gets maximum sun, no snow or frost. It can fall under the classification of Tropical monsoon or Tropical Savannah.

    Thanks again.

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