A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 28, 2009

Soaking Up The Rain

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, camelids, General — Tags: , , , , — alpacalady @ 6:39 am

This last couple of weeks have given us some great moisture. Our temperatures have dropped from the 100’s down to the 80’s to 90’s and most evenings we have had really good rain. Sure the rainfall increases our humidity levels a little bit, but the humidity is bearable and we will take it if it means we get some rain.

 

In one area of the farm the rain could not have arrived at a better time. Last year we had applied for and been accepted into a government program that assists us in planting our back acreage back to native grass. Like most government programs there has been some paperwork and visits from the people at the local Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) office, but on the whole it has been a painless process and we were happy to hear about a month ago we had been accepted.

 

We were given the choice of planting the grass before August 1 or waiting until next spring. We decided to go ahead and plant the grass now. First the field had to be sprayed for weeds, then the grass seed drilled over the field and that was the job done. The really fortunate part is that the day after we drilled the grass seed we had rain and have had rain every evening since. We couldn’t ask for better timing.

 

The grass seed we have planted is a mixture of various types of native grass. The NRCS worked with us and a local seed company to come up with a blend that should succeed in our harsh environment. It will take a while for the grass to be established and the different grasses will probably appear at different times. It will be nice to have the field back to grass, it will encourage wildlife (we already have road runners, pheasant, quail and partridge living on the farm along with the usual assortment of rabbits) and will help prevent soil erosion which is a real issue in this dry and windy part of the world.

 

After a couple of years we will even be allowed to let the alpacas graze on the grass, provided of course we have put up adequate fencing by then (no government programs to cover the cost of fencing I’m afraid).

 

We hope the recent rains will be enough to help the grass seed get started and look forward to seeing the result of our project in the coming months. It will be a slow process but a worthwhile one.

 

Rosemary

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