This post is about one of the most important assets in our farm, the pasture.
If you take a look into our business model and the way we create value, some may conclude that we are actually an agriculture company, because the plantation part and the management of the pasture is what really creates value in our business. The pasture is what allows our cattle to live, breed and grow fat and happy.
In the process of building a farm, one of the first things we do is choose the adequate pasture for our land. So, what is the best pasture for a land?
To get to the answer, we need to first perform a soil analysis and understand the climate of the region. Afterwards, it is necessary to determine the usage of the pasture, whether the pasture is going to be used for breeding, backgrounding or fattening. Each of these producing stages require a specific type of pasture because the needs of the animals differ depending on their age and size.
During the breeding stage, it is advisable to choose pastures of the “Brachiaria” genus that are more resistant to trampling, while their nutritional value do not need to be as high as those of a pasture used for fattening. In the backgrounding phase, we can choose a pasture that is not too tall and that has good nutritional quality, so that steers and heifers can exercise to develop their muscles during this important growth phase. In the fattening stage, it is advisable to opt for pastures of the “Panicum” family, which are known for their high nutritional value, even though they require more water and a fertile soil for their growth.
After the pasture selection, of course, it's time for the real work, planting the pasture.
First thing to do is to remove any unwanted vegetation, then, we follow the processes below:
1. Level the soil to protect it from erosion.
Figure 1. Leveling the Soil.
2. Plant and cover the seeds. With the planting area prepared, the seeds should be inserted between 3 to 5 cm deep, in furrows.
Figure 2. Planting the seeds (seed planter in front, while covering the seeds with the leveler behind).
2. Correct the soil and add fertilizers, if necessary.
3. Watch for insects and pests.
4. Take care of the soil moisture.
Figure 3. New planted area.
It should be planted during the rainy season, thus ensuring a uniform distribution throughout the area. The amount of seed per hectare to be thrown varies between 10kg to 14 kg.
Figure 4. New grass growing.
Figure 5. 45 days after planting the seeds.