Drought is a phenomenon that can occur at any time of the year. Fortunately, we can react quickly enough and take measures to minimize the impact of drought.
“Assuming an average annual precipitation and taking into account the precipitation in the first months of this year, the probability of drought is high.” – Ado Bloemendal
Predicting drought is a calculation of probability. But along the way, the reliability of that probability calculation increases. We saw a lot of precipitation this year in the typical winter months of December to February. This is a sign that there is a real chance of a comparable period without rain.
At the time of writing, April 20, it is still dry, sunny with a mild chilly east, north-east wind.
“The longer the drought lasts, the sooner it starts to rain.” – Ado Bloemendal
We are not helpless in the face of drought, but we can and would be wise to take action to counteract the effects of drought.
We have various tools at our disposal;
Short-term effects include:
– Fertilization regime
– Harvesting method – Think of meadows instead of mowing
– Stubble height after harvest – Think about mowing higher
And long term effects:
– Plant species choice – Consider using clovers en kruiden-
– Water retaining properties – Think of pol forming grasses
– Organic matter contents of the soil
“Nature does not grow because of us, but in spite of us.” – Ado Bloemendal
Applying slurry traditionally takes place in the early spring. With fertilization we compact the soil, which reduces the water storage capacity and we change the salinity of the soil, which draws moisture from the plants – This leads to a higher drought sensitivity.
“The winter rains replenish stocks. The summer rains are purely there for refreshment.” – Ado Bloemendal
Fertilizing later in the season gives the soil time to strengthen and gives you the opportunity to choose the right time, in a rainy period, or just after…. A good drought strategy works against drought, but also contributes to improving the natural environment during the process soil fertilityThis is for the benefit of you and those after you.
All these topics are discussed in detail in the grazing course. Do you want to maximize your influence on the effects of the weather and do you want to know more about the grazing course?
Then sign up for the info webinar; Course: Grazing in Summer!
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