Barenbrug’s COVERGRAZE™ mixtures provide the solution to farmers that want to produce forage for their livestock and simultaneously look after their soil health. For years it was recommended that farmers should keep their animals off cash crop lands, but with COVERGRAZE™ this way of thinking has changed. Utilizing cover crops with animals present the opportunity to generate an income and not only improving your soil biology. The correct utilization of cover crops, with high producing animals in the summer rainfall areas, have regularly shown to be more profitable than the normal cash crop options.
The management of grazing intensity and intervals is of the utmost importance. Therefore farmers often move their herd on a daily basis under an ultra-high-density grazing (UHGD) system. With this system they replicate the grazing habits of large herds in nature and prevent compaction due to the limited time that the animals spend in one camp. The hoof action, manure, urine, saliva and even the CO2 emissions of the herd is beneficial for microbes and plays a big role in the build-up of organic matter in our soils. It should be kept in mind that providing enough drinking water is one of the biggest challenges of these UHDG systems seeing that the livestock are moved regularly. Many creative solutions have presented itself to overcome this challenge.
With the help of your Barenbrug agronomist, COVERGRAZE™ mixtures can provide a complete fodder flow program tailor-made for your farm. This can ensure available pasture throughout the year in the form of green feed or standing hay. The idea is to establish species that will provide the highest amount of material of the best quality for a specific utilization period. The growth period of different varieties and their potential regrowth must be kept in mind. The type of animal that will be utilizing the COVERGRAZE™ mixture also determines the species and variety best suited, whether it is for sheep, dairy or beef.
In most circumstances it is advised to manage your COVERGRAZE™ mixture for regrowth. Normally this is achieved by grazing the cover crop before the main component of the mixture goes into a reproductive growth stage and not grazing it past the desired post grazing residual. A good rule of thumb is to move your animals before you can see their hooves. By doing this enough of the ‘‘factory’’ is left behind for photosynthesis to enable quick regrowth for the next grazing. The idea is to graze the ‘‘cream’’ of the crop with UHDG and then move the herd. There is some species and varieties that can endure severe grazing better than others like Pearler hybrid millet and annual ryegrass. Always remember that root reserves are depleted with heavy grazing and it may take 2-3 weeks for regrowth to commence. This can give weeds the opportunity to present themselves. Herds can also be used to control weeds, terminate cover crops and even to establish cover crops with their trampling action.
Barenbrug is proud to offer COVERGRAZE™ specific products for cover cropping. Not only are these products perfect for non-grazing cover crop systems, they offer superior forage production, digestibility and quality for grazing animals. If COVERGRAZE™ is part of your cover crop plans, choose Barenbrug products for performance that matches your needs.
“The beef community use a technology that produces high quality protein from solar energy locked within human inedible plants. This technology produces a natural organic fertilizer and is mobile without using fossil fuels. This technology self-replicates. The technology is cattle. Beef is the original plant-based meat” – Dr Sara Place
“We see soil life return in a relatively short period of time, which means we can cut back our fertilizer fairly quickly while the yield and quality improve. By utilizing it with my cattle we increase the working even further. After what we have seen for the last 3 years we are very excited about the role that mixed cover crops can play in our sustainability, profitability and competitiveness.” - Gert Jv Rensburg - Brits, North West