Florida alone has about 12 million acres of pasture land. That’s a lot of land dedicated to growing and feeding grass-fed cattle and providing for our communities. But with the sheer number of cattle and amount of rangeland comes great responsibility to our environment. By taking on the duty of rancher, we’re pledging to do our part in keeping our land clean and our waterways clear, doing our part to stop pollution. Today we’ll share some best practices for your farm and pollution prevention. To learn more about our operations here, consider joining us for an agritour.
Protect Your Vegetation Cover – A good vegetation cover helps prevent polluting water runoff in streams, as well as mitigating erosion from loose soil and plants slipping away. Ranchers can establish a solid cover by not overgrazing their land and following pasture rotation recommendations. For more on pasture rotation, visit our blog.
Monitor Feed and Watering Sites – We can work to decrease waste accumulation by employing a number of practices regarding feeding and watering sites. Place all supplemental feeding and watering stations at least 100 feet away from streams and drainage canals, and provide plenty of alternative water sources so cattle aren’t inclined to head toward streams for a drink. Move feed and watering sites frequently to prevent waste accumulation. This is not only better for pollution, but also better for fertilizing your pasture.
Take Care of Your Ditches – The ditches on your property are a direct line to streams and rivers. Pollution here can make a big difference down the line. When removing vegetation from ditches for better water flow and drainage, use manual methods vs. herbicides. If you see pollution running into the streams in a concentrated area, either try to relocate the cattle from nearby or establish a berm near the ditch.
As stewards of the land and the cattle, it’s our responsibility to provide for our community using safe and effective methods that are renewable for years to come. For more on the history of Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch, visit our website.