The Beef Farmers of Ontario, Mapleseed and the Ontario Forage Council, sponsors of the Mapleseed Pasture Award are pleased to announce that Tim Lehrbass from Alvinston, Ont. is the winner of the 2018 Mapleseed Pasture Award. The award was presented today at the Beef Farmers of Ontario Annual General Meeting in Toronto. For his environmental improvements and exceptional pasture management, Tim received a cash reward of $500 and a bag of forage courtesy of Mapleseed.
The Lehrbass Farm consists of 120 acres, of which 105 acres are in pasture, and 15 acres are planted to corn, which, at the four-leaf stage, he inter-seeds with a mixture of annuals. He leaves the corn standing and as soon as the ground is frozen, Tim grazes the cows on a measured strip of corn and annuals daily.
Tim, his wife Tina, and their two young sons manage a 50-cow herd and rotationally graze the cattle from May to October. The cows calve on pasture in June and are moved daily, which allows the cows to remain clean and healthy at calving. Tim notes that he feeds the grass an acre at a time, moving his electric fence each day.
The pasture consists of alfalfa, perennial ryegrass, reed canary grass, orchard grass, white clover, birdsfoot trefoil, Kentucky bluegrass, crown vetch, creeping fescue and prairie grass. The cows are rotated daily, and the grazed sections typically get 30-45 days of rest between grazing.
All tree-lines are fenced off and alleys are in place for wildlife to use to get around, rather than going through the fence. The gulley on the farm is fenced off and that space is used by the local beekeepers. The fence rows provide great habitat for the birds, which Tim believes results in fewer flies for the cows to deal with.
In reviewing Tim’s nomination, Steve Hughes, District Sales Manager for Mapleseed was quick to recognize that the nominee was making great use of the farm’s marginal areas, not only from an environmental perspective, but a very practical and useful point of view.
Ray Robertson, Manager of the Ontario Forage Council, commented that it is great to see the excellent quality of pasture award nominations being submitted from across the province. He understands Tim’s comments around the challenges he faces when grazing legumes in Southwestern Ontario, but recognizes the high production it offers.
Source : Beef Farmers of Ontario