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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here is what I am thinking. Sanfoin and clover add much needed protein to pasture. Fields of green manure that use little water yet return much needed resources to the soil have become very popular. I feel that there are ways for beekeepers and farmers to gain off of every acre of land while helping native pollinators and nature do its thing. I am looking for crops with low water use, high value for cattle or soil usage and a way to finance this project. I would really love for a college student, professor or scientist to work with me so that the whole world can share in this research Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated

Thank YOu
Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I was young everyone allowed their hay to bloom a little. Weeds and flowers were in every unused space. Ast I look around today things have changed greatly. Now you spray every acre of crop land to keep weeds out, you disc up the corners if irrigated with center pivots to control weeds and to keep things looking good. We have changed our crops so that they do not produce as much honey as they use to. As well as created pest killing chemicals that become absorbed into the plants to maximize yield. I am not bashing these practices because I understand them. I live them. Yet their is better way and I understand the niches in the system to see where the change in many practices can be beneficial to many people not just the farmer or rancher. I want to exploit these things but do not know who to contact or how to do it. I know I can seed range land to help bees and ranchers, but how to I educate the rancher when they think they have to starve a profit in a cow. How do I educate the farmer that if they plant this on the edges of their field they not only control the wild grass that propagates disease in their wheat but also make a dollar or too with it. Monoculture farming is what feeds the world, but I think I can tweak it a little how do I get the either the money to prove it and/or the scientist to do it?
 

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Did not the US GVT already try this in the 50's? The same things they planted are now classified as noxious invasive weed species in many locations. Please don't try to be an overzealous environmentalist wannabe looking to create the "greater good" if that's your mission. I've noticed that these "projects" are rarely ever self sustaining in the long run. May I asked: What is it that you have come across that hasn't already been studied or tried?
 

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in the 1950's my dad planted red clover mostly mix on the wetter ground and alfalfa mix on the dryer ground, this was usda/co-op extention's recommendation. it was pretty good for bees. in the 1980's we figured out that harvesting forage before bloom [sad bees] resulted in forage with lower fiber and much higher protein [happy cows, farmer stays in business]. I think this area has been researched half to death. we have also figured out that the other legumes in the mix do not add to forage quality or tonnage. for much of our feed supply pasture is obsolete. it is now mostly for organic, this fad has peaked I think, I am a dairy equipment dealer that also works on refrigerated milk product trailers. due to supply and demand, organic milk is not profitable at this time despite reduced supply. regular milk which has exactly the same lab test specs. has never been much better for half a century. a move to more pasture on a large scale is not likely soon.
 

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I think you need to start by learning more. You say you've lived it, but it doesn't show in your words. For instance, as Masethonequip said, bloomed hay is not good hay. For a plant to support a flower, it has to toughen up it's main stem by incorporating a lot of lignin into it. Lignin is indigestible fiber. Not much if any nutritional value there. So bloomed hay = lots of lignin = less nutritional value = less $$ it'll sell for. If you've lived this, you would know that.

You also need to learn more about the people. You won't get very far with this kind of attitude:
...how to I educate the rancher when they think they have to starve a profit in a cow. How do I educate the farmer that if they plant this on the edges of their field they not only control the wild grass that propagates disease in their wheat but also make a dollar or too with it.
Ranchers don't "starve a profit into a cow". Any rancher knows a starved cow produces nothing - no calves, no milk, no meat. You coming to a rancher thinking you can "educate" them when you think they starve their cows? You won't get very far at all. You'll be lucky to get past the front ranch gate.

And what plant will not propagate disease like grass does? Sharpshooters, one of the main vectors of disease, live in MANY kinds of plants, so planting something other than grass likely won't do a thing to control them. Killing the grass and weeds and leaving bare ground is one of the cheapest, more sure things that will. Again, if you've lived this, you would know that. But you don't know that, so when you talk about some miracle plant that will make them money while avoiding disease, it comes off as ignorant and ****y at the same time, as if you are telling them you are so much smarter than them. Not a good way to approach someone you want to "help". Not a good way to approach someone at all actually.

I am glad you want to help, but I've seen so many people try to jump in and help when they know little or nothing about the subject. All that does is do more damage. I am in a unique position where I span both the agricultural world and the environmental one, and have seen this over and over again. I live on 50 acres of the original 500+ acre cattle ranch I grew up on. I have raised cattle among other things here, just like my father before me. I believe wholeheartedly in organics and sustainability - I am a horticulturist at a local organic-only nursery where I get paid to help teach people how and why to garden organically. Again, I live in both worlds and see exactly where they clash. I can tell you that the non-agricultural types who listen to PETA's lines then charge in saying, "Da-da-DUUMMM! HERE I am to save the DAAAAAYYY!!!" don't get very far with country people, and are a big part of the problem. I am all for the message of environmentalism, but when someone has approached me like that, and they have more than once, I've just escorted them to the other side of my front gate, locked it, and went back home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, I apologize for my ignorance evidently. I just figured that when I worked on a 4500 head cattle ranch and the cows had a body condition score of 3-4 at calving time and they were feeding lick tubs as there primary source of protein that they did not understand nutrition. The primary feed source was potatoes and straw, but I guess we all know that it has a ton of protein. Grass when green and growing has many different nutritional contents but it is not growing at calving time and therefore has very little. Even out good grama grass when dried down has about half the protein as when it is growing. So when a rancher has cattle in a less than desirable body condition score and feeding a predominately energy feed without protein and expecting the protein to come from dry water grass and lick tubs this leads me to think that they are not that well educated. Secondly I have worked for ranchers whom feed nothing but alfalfa hay and wondered why they had major scours issues. I have seen ranchers in Nebraska whom feed high nitrate hay due putting liquid pig manure on there fields and wonder why after feeding that plus 3 pounds of corn per head per day that the cattle were not gaining weight and some were even dying. Now Please excuse me for being ****y, but I know how to drill water wells, I know how to do electrical work, weld, run cattle and many other things as well as know a little about bees. Now What I don't know is how you take someone who can't see past the end of their nose to improve the conditions on their own place for the welfare of their own cattle and or crops. For instance I suggested growing some Kosha weed. It is something like 19-23 percent protein, chop it for ensilage and feed it with the straw and potatoes. Do you think they listened to me, hell know. Now I apologize because my grammer and spelling may infer that I am not educated, and I will admit that I am not very well educated. However, I am good at seeing that their is a bigger picture to things. I know for instance that some plant produce protein in abundance, some produce energy, some produce pollen and some produce honey. What I do not know is the place to find this information, so therefore I tried to turn to this board. I do know that if you grow sweet clover as a cover crop you can return as much as 100 units of nitrogen to the soil. Nitrogen is one of the largest expenses in fertilizer. What I do not know is if there is a way to make all of these things come together and if their are any government programs to help. I know that with CRP they do have a pollinator mix. Yet can a person change that pollinator mix to have say sweet clover in it so that when he discs it under he gets the benefit of the nitrogen????
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I guess I did not make my point clear enough before, I figured I was talking to beekeepers not ranchers and farmers. So I have a farmer who is also a rancher. He is willing to work with me. I want to plant things to help his operation, such as green manure crops to increase crop residue and build soil as well as add to the nitrogen content of his soil, yet be beneficial to bees. I want to plant something in his pastures so that when they are grazed in the fall or winter they still maintain protein and energy, when grazed during the summer months they will produce calves that are 800 pounds at weining. yet remain good for bees. Is this possible and if so are there any government programs to make it happen.
 

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I guess I did not make my point clear enough before, I figured I was talking to beekeepers not ranchers and farmers. So I have a farmer who is also a rancher. He is willing to work with me. I want to plant things to help his operation, such as green manure crops to increase crop residue and build soil as well as add to the nitrogen content of his soil, yet be beneficial to bees. I want to plant something in his pastures so that when they are grazed in the fall or winter they still maintain protein and energy, when grazed during the summer months they will produce calves that are 800 pounds at weining. yet remain good for bees. Is this possible and if so are there any government programs to make it happen.
If you work on a 4500 head cattle ranch, He is the government subsidy for you. Have him buy your idea, sell a hundred head and fund your project. My tax dollars are subsidizing far too much now. G
 

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Is this possible and if so are there any government programs to make it happen.

As noted in other posts I am sure most people on here are not against you accomplishing your goal...Albeit we wish it was sans your quest of even considering putting your grubby paws in the public trough to make it happen. If you had proposed this idea with only your own personal funds on the line I bet you would have had 100% support on here to go ahead and try.

Your fatal mistake was failing to realize that most of the frequently contributing beeks that are pro public finance funding on almost any issue are a rare bird in the Beesource flock. So much so that in a lot of instances that would extend even to the point of cutting off our nose regarding important bee research in order to maintain a free market libertarian bent.

If you are able to find a way to proceed towards your goal I do have a hard time seeing how you will even come close to recouping your investment. With bees crossing fence lines I doubt the bee $ will be available for any transfer payment system you imagine.

As my wife often asks... "Where is the money for that going to come from?"
 

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When I was young everyone allowed their hay to bloom a little. Weeds and flowers were in every unused space. Ast I look around today things have changed greatly. Now you spray every acre of crop land to keep weeds out, you disc up the corners if irrigated with center pivots to control weeds and to keep things looking good. We have changed our crops so that they do not produce as much honey as they use to. As well as created pest killing chemicals that become absorbed into the plants to maximize yield. I am not bashing these practices because I understand them. I live them. Yet their is better way and I understand the niches in the system to see where the change in many practices can be beneficial to many people not just the farmer or rancher. I want to exploit these things but do not know who to contact or how to do it. I know I can seed range land to help bees and ranchers, but how to I educate the rancher when they think they have to starve a profit in a cow. How do I educate the farmer that if they plant this on the edges of their field they not only control the wild grass that propagates disease in their wheat but also make a dollar or too with it. Monoculture farming is what feeds the world, but I think I can tweak it a little how do I get the either the money to prove it and/or the scientist to do it?
A short simple well worded message would be a good start. Not a bumper sticker, just something short, sweet, and simple, easily understood and well thought out.

Right now, it seems, your message is not getting through. But this may be a good place to refine things. Keep going.
 

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I guess I did not make my point clear enough before, I figured I was talking to beekeepers not ranchers and farmers. So I have a farmer who is also a rancher. He is willing to work with me. I want to plant things to help his operation, such as green manure crops to increase crop residue and build soil as well as add to the nitrogen content of his soil, yet be beneficial to bees. I want to plant something in his pastures so that when they are grazed in the fall or winter they still maintain protein and energy, when grazed during the summer months they will produce calves that are 800 pounds at weining. yet remain good for bees. Is this possible and if so are there any government programs to make it happen.
I don't know.

What does this farmer want to do? You say he is willing to work w/ you. Does this mean on your free time you have permission to do what you think will be beneficial to reach your personal goal? Or is he willing to spend his own capital and resources backing up your plan or venture?
 

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I don't know.

Or is he willing to spend his own capital and resources backing up your plan or venture?
EXACTLY
Im sure the reason he has said "go ahead Grasshopper find a way......" has something to do with the fact that he has probably already squeezed the free money tree of the federal government to the limit. Which by the way was probably way more than it should have been...... G
 

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I find it interesting that the ones that don't own the land often have the big ideas how to make things better. I can only assume its because they have the extra time on their hands.
 

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I just figured that when I worked on a 4500 head cattle ranch and the cows had a body condition score of 3-4 at calving time and they were feeding lick tubs as there primary source of protein that they did not understand nutrition.
right....

4500 head and he has no idea what he is doing... maybe its the onlooker not knowing what he is seeing?
bendrifting, right from the start your whole "idea" has been the all fuzzy type and in the clouds. Bring some reality to the issue and you've got nothing more than whats already being done

why have you not checked out your local agricultural extensions office? that is where you will find all the information you need, its all there...
 
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