Soil Health & Fertility
Good hay comes from healthy grass, and healthy grass grows in well-managed soil. Each spring, we take composite soil samples from each of our hay fields and have them tested at the UMass Soils Lab. The results give us valuable feedback on what nutrients and amendments each field needs to help the grass thrive. Instead of using a large fertilizer spreader and applying the same mix of bulk fertilizer to all of our acreage, we create specific fertility plans for each field and apply just the right mix of products to feed the soil and promote vigorous grass growth, without short-changing or over-applying nutrients to fields with unique compositions.
While there is some truth to the age-old haying adage that “fertilizer equals yield”, our goal in such careful soil management is to make our forage as nutrient-dense as possible through proper, efficient, and timely fertility applications. This helps our customers maximize their animals’ health and production during the winter, when fresh grass isn’t available for grazing.
No-Till Farming & Carbon Sequestration
Of our 40+ acres of hay fields, hardly any have seen a plow for the past half-century, or perhaps longer! The mix of grass in each field is what has thrived for decades, with most settling into an equilibrium of timothy, orchardgrass, fescue, clover, and other native grasses. This type of no-till grass farming works to build soil organic matter and sequester atmospheric carbon, with each cutting of hay prompting grass plants to shed excess root mass into the soil.