Sunday, August 1, 2010

To many folks Holistic Systems may only be about forage management in the beginning.  This reminds me of single trait selection in the beef industry where weaning weights has been the main goal in this industry for the last 50 years or so.  We were so busy trying to increase weaning weights, because some people were very successful at convincing us incorrectly of its importance, that we forgot the very basics of livestock production altogether.  In a similar situation you can sit around the coffee shop with a bunch of modern dairymen and their main topic is milk production per cow.  Although the forage production is vitally important to the real livestock producer, producing the most forage on the farm without using the Holistic approach is very similar to the beef and dairymen mentioned above.

Under Holistic Systems, I am making the attempt to produce massive quantities of forage.  I also wish to have many varieties and species of forages that the livestock on my farm can utilize to a very high degree.  That is I want very little waste.  While doing this I must have my eye on the system I am using to get this quantity forage.  If I must destroy the drinking water or slowly poison my neighbors fields by leaching harmful pesticides to get more forage this simply is not acceptable under my system. 

Somehow many of us have been convinced that we must go out to the market and spend money in order to increase this forage production.  This is a poor reflection upon our society.  In most cases the limiting factor for producing yet more forage is water shortages.  Now we get plenty of rainfall.  We just do not have the system in place to capture the rain and put it to good use when needed.  We tend to mismanage our precipitation and then try to correct this mishap with technology.  To fix this problem we need not purchase any product or gadget.  Bare soil, any bare soil, and short grasses allows more rain water to run off than is collected.  This is such an easy fix.  But the fix I am talking about can not be bottled or distributed from the fertilize plant, equipment dealer or feed store.  When the water problem is corrected so many of the other issues simply are resolved as well. 

So under my Holistic System what we thought was a forage problem would have been better revealed as a water problem once we started using the Holism approach more effectively.

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