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About kickstart

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  1. I was taught,admit a long time ago that the best , ph for soil was 6.5, a ph of bettween 4and 5 would be on the acid side , unless ,the crop is Rhododendron's which like acid soil , most crops would not grow to they potential I would say appy some lime to push the ph up .? As drtreelove said Thai soil also lack most minerals ,you might get the ph right, but the soil will still lack minerals. 18 months ago Framerjo did a soil analysis , of his soil results are in TV's maize thread, the soil was short of almost everything, also organic matter would be low ,a big problem with Thai soils . First thing would be to push the organic matter of the soil up , it would help the soil ph , and minerals .
  2. Problems like this come up often on Thai TV,and the said wife where are the local Headman, Po-Yai Bann,and Gum -Nan ,thay should be looking in to this problem ,it it part of remit , been going on for some time ,she should be at lest be geting 800 bart a month ,farther's disability allowance ,local head again should help them out. I would say now are in the spotlight,thay might do something ,if they can get off they lazie backside .
  3. Maize and Rotational Crops

    Cobbler Our Ubon Paspalum , for us is a grazing grass we do not do a cut and cart system , our cattle go out grazing every day ,Nappier silage was intended as cool/dry season feed , but now we feed it every day. Cattle are selective grazers ,and as I said, for the past 2 years has not been grass for grazing years , rains come late, then almost in one short period , cattle would eat the young Paspaium ,but the regrowth thay would only eat tips of the plant ,and a few young shots , the rest of the plant would grow old and unplatable ,I could have toped the whole field ,down to snooker table hight ,and it would have grown up again as young grass ,but we do not have a grass topper. On a cut and cart system ,Paspaium would work could be cut more regular , but we have enough to do without cutting grass every day ,we cut the tree legume gratin most days ,that is enough. Our Nappier Packchon II was 60 -70 days old when it was cut , it was not an evon crop ,some in the open ,and some along tree fence line ,where it was in the shade ,Nappier grass dose not like shade, grows stunted,hence some at 70 day ,left it to see if the stunted grass would grow more, it did not. Not certain what you mean ,we do not sell our grass we feed it all , but in this area, it is almost an industry selling bagged maize silage , I wrote a piece a while ago about making maize silage . Some farmers have made Nappier grass silage and sold it ,but the quality was not good ,old grass and wet ,a few years ago we brought some ,put 25% on the field as manual , that was all it was fit for. If I brought in all our feed we would not made a profit, we use to rear dairy heifers to buy in young heifers feed them up .get them in calf and sell them , but like wayned and his pigs , the market was volatile ,buy expensive and sell cheap ,then we brought in everything , maize silage ,concentrate ,and brewers grains , plus minerals ,our margins where low to non existent, now we have beef cows ,and sell they offspring at about 1 year old,make our own silage ,cut Gratin ,the tree legume , still feed concentrate and brewers grains ,now we make a bit, labour intencive I know ,but it works for us . Breed has a lot to do with it, the popular long ears , breed , Indo Brazil, make bad beef breeds ,all leg and ears ,we are using Angus , and Brangus crosses , which grow well , one of our local cattle dealer likes them, and wil soon buy them from us Charalias work well ,must be crossed with a Brahman ,more than 75 % Charalias blood, cattle will suffer from heat stress. Drugs and vitamins are not that expensive,25kg bag of minerals 340 bart ,will keep me going for a couple of moths ,a 5 kg salt lick 240 bart from New Zealand ,will last a few months ,dueing the hot season less so . One problem we have had is lungworm in the calves, due to too many cattle on a small area, calves have no natural resistance, but a worm drench soon sorts the problem out, again drugs not expencive.
  4. Maize and Rotational Crops

    Your 10 liters /cow/day on just grazing is good going ,It proves it can be done ,you did well to get the farmers to graze ,at night time ,most Thai cows are locked in they shed at night times eating rice straw ,their owners still afraid of thieves ,I let my cattle graze at night ,always have done ,still like the walk up the field at 10 pm to check on them . I have tried your Ubon Paspalum, it grew well ,but cattle found it very unpalatable ,last year .and the year before difficult to grow grazing grass weather not right ,it got going well cattle would eat it ,then they just stopped eating it ,it did not look old or steamy ,I remember reading on TV that others have found the same problem, pity it is something that likes my land . I agree with you about Mortlec ,I was they back in May they were cutting some Nappier it must have been 90-100 days ,say no more ,I can remember they cows eating Ruzi grass ,then it was a cut and cart sysyem ,with some grazing ,and thay were then making Ruzi grass silage ,not the best silage grass a bit to old ,and the clamp was not rolled properly ,still say better than a TMR systme ,we have a few farmers using a TMR system around here ,see how long they last before changing back.
  5. Maize and Rotational Crops

    Hi FJ It is like chalk and cheese, I forgot that you have your weigh statins ,I like the idea ,just cut 2-3 ton a day , around here we just do not have them ,the small farmers ,get's one of the bigger growers in to do all the work ,a farang near here, his wife has 17 rie ,the grower up the road who has 2-300 rie himself dose all the work , ploughing , planting spraying,havesting ect ,only thing she does is aply some irrigation water when needed ,he does all the work ,then takes his costs from her final cheque, plus interest charges , Now finding cutters in any number is becoming more difficult , more cane is being cut by machine, the above small grower , last year was charged 350 baht/ton to chop and haule there crop to the mill, that makes a hole in the growers' profit margin .
  6. Cattle near Pattaya

    They are lots , about the best Red Brahman farm in Thailand is near Pattaya, SK Ranch Pattaya, to buy cattle from them will require a large wallet ,expensive , but good quality ,I have used some of their semen ,there offspring are good. There are lots of Commercial, farms around, get out there and ask around you will soon find what you need. Try looking in some Thai farming magazines , they are one or two devoted to cattle , lots of adverts for cattle in them .
  7. Maize and Rotational Crops

    HI wanyed A lot of farmers around here have tried pigs ,as you say the price goes up and down ,like a hog on the job, no pun intended, they are more redundant pig pens about than being used , TV's Pigeon Jake did well rearing , butchering, and selling his own stock. Sugarcane around here , like you, is looking well ,but as one farmer said ,all the rain they is the quantity, but the sugar content is low ,it needs some sun on it ,to push the sugar up ,as for price I think a lot of it is to do with fuel prices than world sugar prices ,a lot of the molasses ,is mixed with cassava and yeast ,to make alcohol ,for gasohol , and molasses is fermented in to alcohol, out local sugar mill has a plant , that produces its own alcohol ,from molasses, again for gasohol. As for the Guinea grass ,if every one changed ,buy a mower ,a grass turner and a big baler ,and make it in to hay ,and send it down to Lopburi ,or Sarlabri ,plenty of cows that will eat it .
  8. Maize and Rotational Crops

    Michale, thanks for the reply, I should have said ,my Nappier grass is Nappier Taiwan, I got the rootstock from a Thai friend of mine about 6 years ago .You asked about Nappier Packchon ,I live not so far from the DPO at Mortlec, Saraburi ,and I am often up there , they are in to Nappier grass in a big way ,ploughed out most of they Ruzie, and Guinne ,and are planting Nappier Packchon II ,and that have started feeding the cows on a TMR system (Not a good idea in Thailand,thay have not got the management expertise ), anyway ,I got some of their Nappier Packchon II and planted a small bed ,it grew quicker than my Taiwan ,stems a lot thicker ,higher yield,we cut it and did our usual 30 hour willt ,chopped it ,noticed most bags weighed about 25 -30 kg,Taiwan never more than 25 kg ,left it 6 weeks ,opened some of the bags , about 40% compost and very wet ,with the thicker stems ,a 30 hour wilt was not enough,just to wet to ferment in to silage ,went the other way in to compost ,as I said we have struggled at times with a 30 hour wilt when the weather is wet a 48 hour wilt would be best ,very difficult ( in the UK you make hay when the sun shines, here in Thailand you make silage when it rains, grass is growing,) . So now we have tryed twice at making silage with Packchon II ,same results ,so now we let get to 50-60 days cut and feed it fresh ,with "Gratin" Leucaena Leucocephala, the tree legume ,evon at 50 day fed fresh ,not choped ,cattle still will not eat the stems ,to hard ,must waist 30-40%.,got a small irrigation system ,will water it dueing the dry season, give the cattle a bit for fresh grass to eat then. In this area nearly all Nappier is Packchon II, our local co-op now milking about 110 cows, feeding they TMR, with wet direct cut Nappier silage, what the cows DMI ,Dry Matter Intake, is I dare not think, no wonder they are not giving any milk, and management is not good, and wait for it ,they borrowed 150 million baht from the Govenment savings bank , to buy the cows and set it all up,the bank will never see that money again . I am certain our success, is all the organic matter applied, cow manure , most reference books say Nappier grass needs 300 units of urea a year ,that is about 110 kg we used less than 2 bags of 45% urea last year , and no P and K ,I think cow manure provides most of the P and K, I have thought we could almost go organic ,but with the cow manua comes weed seeds,I have some weed grass ,and in one patch a bad area of bind weed ,that will need some sorting out with round up . As I said Thai's think of quantity, not quality ,that is why Nappier is popular properly managed ,most of Michale's grasses would grow well around here better than Nappier , properly managed grass, would reduce an expencive concentrat bill ,the biggest expence on a Thai dairy farm along with indigestible rice straw , improve conception rate,reduce digestive problems , cows eating to much concentrate ,especially after calving , so in the long run making them more money ,but as we know , change is not a well used Thai word so, for now, they will continue to bodge along as before ,and for the for seeable future .
  9. Maize and Rotational Crops

    I agree with you yes and no,I have written before we make Nappier grass silage, and have done for 4-5 years ,we only have 1 1/2 rie ,but last year we made 400 bags at 25 kg a bag , which my back of a fag packet calculation said it made 10 ton ,that is with a 30 hour wilt ,add another 15% for fresh weight ? last year we applied 2 bags of 45% urea , plus a few ton of cow manure ,we cut at no more than 60 -70 days ,but last year the gods were not with us we had 2 cuts where we had to throw away at least 30 % of the crop, got to old all stem no leaf must have been 90 day old ,also , as we say in the UK it Lodged, with the heavy rain , the crop went down making it a pig of a job to cut , as the wife said more than once ,she would,"Toll-Gun--Moie" ,like pubic hair, a tangled mess. My sward is in its 4th year and still growing well ,one problem I do have is in the new re-growth ,I think is a form of the fungal disease smut ?, the leaves have brown patches on , but as it gets to 2-3 foot tall it disappears ,yield does not seem to be effected This year with less cattle we have had 3 cuts at no more than 60 days ,some very good silage , 1st cut was not so good to wet, as you said with high DM, it looks like we will get half a crop for a 4th cut , I have said before ,it works for us ,also we have limited land . Nappier grass has to be managed well, it likes urea fertilizer ,and organic matter ,and must be cut at no more than 60 days old ,any older you will get a crop with more stem than leaf . But here in Thailand ,Thais think of bulk only and not quality, do use a regular application of urea, apply one dose at the start of the season ,then no more ,they take one cut , second cut grows slowly ,and soon get stemy and old,and as Michal said low feed quality, especially the ME value. Well on the minus side we have a dairy co-op near here trying to get up to 300 milking cows , they never will, they feed on a TMR system , that is Total Mixed Ration ,all the feed is put in a mixer wagon ,and feed to the cow in the yard,no feeding in the milking parlor ,they are using Nappier grass silage ,they have 3 clamps of silage, grass that is 90 day old plus , direct chop, no wilting, no rolling of the clamp ,milk yield is 10-12 kg / cow /day, not a lot , break even point is 10Kg/cow/day,and thay have big infertility problem, a system that does not work. Last month a TV member wrote about trying to get some clumps of natral grass out of his Mulato II grass using roundup (forget the debate about round up ),I wrote ,so did FJ,about this guys management of his Mulato II grass,was it suited to his land ,was it over grazed ,I wrote I would love to grow Mulato II but my land is just to wet ,black ex rice paddeys ,I have sub soiled it ,but with 490 mm of rain in 2 months ,it was geting a bit waterloged ,and I am certain Mullato II would have died,but my Nappier just kept growing ,hence us throwing away 30%,at times plus,on our first cut I am tempted to try Mobass Guinea, we have some Purple Guinea about the place that seems to thrive ,if Mombasa is like Purple Guinea. PS Being trying to upload some photographs,for some reason TV's system wil not let me
  10. SURVEY: Brexit -- Good or Bad Idea?

    Depends on where you are ,if you are an ex-pat, living anywhere in the world, and they are quite a few, is a disaster, the way the pound has dropped ,it has left a lot of expats, who rely on there uk pension to live on a lot worse off . UK business will suffer , will they be tariffs ?, still a lot of Merkey water out there. My sister lives in Switzerland and doses a lot of work in the EU, and a lot are saying the UK has been moaning about the EU for a lot of years , and there are saying the EU could be better off without us, but being the third bigest payer of funds in to the EU,thay might miss our contributions Me I do not like the EU, it needs reforming big time, but I would say stay.
  11. Worst Joke Ever

    Honeymoon hotel ,Saturday night, 3 newly married couples arrive ,and book into there rooms ,have their evening meal ,and retire to their rooms. Now ,the owner of the hotel, was an interfering old cow , she liked to walk around at night, walked past the first couples room put her ear to the door, herd lots of noises ,and thought they are having fun , same with the second couples room ,went to the third room ,all quite, listened again, still all quite. Following morning, at breakfast first two couples come down ,the owner said",I was walking around last night, just checking the fire escapes , walked past your room,everything seemed to be ok" ,the two couples looked at one another and smiled. Sometime later the third couple comes down , the owner said , "walking around last night , just checking the windows, walked past your room and everything was all quite , any problems,?" the girl thought and said "mummy, told me never to speak when my mouth is full."
  12. Ayutthaya braces for northern run-off

    The Royal Irrigation Department, is releasing water from the Passak dam in Lopburi province ,the water flows into the Passak river which in turn joins the Chao Phraya at Bang Par Inn,so floods Ayutthaya. The wife was they this morning she said they have 5 of the 7 dam gates open, , shifting a lot of water I was at back end of the dam 2 days ago and the level of water in the dam has risen a lot over the past 2 weeks, due to flooding in Pechaboon, province,the Passak river flows from Pechaboon ,in to the Passak dam ,so it is a knock on effect, for some reason the R I D, would rather flood Ayutthaya than holding back the water in the Passak dam and flood some countryside ,I know that sugar cane farmers would be annoyed at loss of part of the crop , but I would dare say the government would sub them anyway . The idea of building the Passak dam was to prevent flooding in Ayutthaya and to provide farmers with some irrigation water .
  13. Limes

    The problem this year is they is a glut of limes, our local weekly market , was selling 15 limes 10 bart , our own trees they are hanging like grapes ,the wife has given her daughter a large bucket of limes ,never known a year like it . You might be able to sell some at your local morning market ,or evning market ,but you will still end up with a lot left over, as I said it is just one of those years ,by the new year thay will be 3-4 baht each . Thay must be a way to store fruit, apples and pears are harvested in the autumn .and kept and sold through the winter ,without any problem, unless it is to hot to store any fruit here in Thailand for any length of time.
  14. Hip Replacment

    I am a positive one with the NHS the reason I am having it done here in Thailand ,the uk time scale , not even being registered with a doctor now, got deregistered 2 years ago ,so now well down at the bottom of the ladder , the thought of living in the uk for a good few months ,with not a lot of income ,and keeping our pace here in Thailand going ,having done here makes more sense, as I said my mother has had hips replaced ,done on the NHS no proplems.
  15. Hip Replacment

    Right ,the surgeon in Lopburi did the ex-rays and said the hip joint is deformed, and will need replacing . He gave me a price of 65,000 baht for the surgery ,and about 10,000 baht for hospital costs , a total of 5 days ,gave me a date in December for the operation ,I asked him if he dose hip replacements often,he said" every week I do one ", so he has had some experience. That price to me is too cheap , again as ElVIS said ,what will the joint equipment be ,I have been in farming most of my life ,and here in Thailand the wife and myself have a smallholding rearing a few cattle ,so we are active the whole time ,and I want the new joint to last .