The biggest profits from abundant hay and pasture come when drought decimates forage crops across your entire region. A hot, dry summer can also force you to eat up your winter stocks of hay. Since 2008, we’ve found a self-reinforcing system which adds weeks to the life of grass pastures.
Sept. 7, 2017 — First you spray WakeUP Spring or WakeUP Summer during the active growing season, to amplify the flow of sugars and other photosynthesis products to the grass roots. The burst of sugars exuded by grassroots amplifies the “bloom” of naturally beneficial organisms which colonize the roots. These microbial helpers — especially the mycorrhizal fungi — are up to 10 times more effective than roots for dissolving soil nutrients. The microbial creatures also build a sticky “glomalin” which helps absorb and retain soil moisture.
Second, you can further enhance the biological building cycle by inoculating soils with beneficial microbes, which are probably missing from soils which have been fertilized with NPK and tilled for decades. This is especially effective in soils with lower cation exchange capacity and low humus levels.
Widespread, erratic drought regions this summer re-emphasized how much an ongoing forage and pasture program can help. One longtime WakeUP user in Virginia told us a few days ago, “My pastures are still green and growing into September. Every other pasture around me is going dormant with our dry weather.”
We asked for photos. He drove out into the field with a tractor and shot three photos with his smartphone. It’s difficult to show side-by-side comparisons of big pastures from a ground view, but anyone familiar with brome, fescue or other mixed grass knows that a lush and growing pasture through a dry August and September signals something unusual. Here’s a closeup of the main evidence: