Friday, October 28, 2011

Water Quality on a VT Grass-Based Farm

Farmer Eric Noel in Highgate shared these videos with us.  His land is located in the Rock River watershed, one of the priority areas affecting Lake Champlain.  Water from about 2,500 acres surrounding him drains through his farm.  Eric believes very strongly in grazing to protect water quality, and here's video documentation of why he feels that grazing and clean water are a natural fit.  By the way, if you'd like to learn a little more about happenings on Eric's farm, check out the July "dart throwing" post.

First, a shot of Eric's farm and the water from his runoff.  He raises beef and does custom pasturing of other farms' cows on his 100% grazing farm.  He practices mob stocking and a holistic planned grazing system.

Second, a shot of the runoff from Eric's farm and another grazing farm (the water coming from the right) and the runoff from a dairy farm with a roughly 1/2 hay, 1/2 cropping system.

Finally, a shot of the water coming from the mixture of the two grazing farms and the dairy on the right, and the runoff  from a crops-only farm on the left.  Note that what was "dirty" in the second video is now what looks "clean" in this video.

We in the VT Pasture Network appreciate all kinds of farms, and we are here to help them create improved water quality through grazing and good pasture management.

Give us a call at (802) 656-0858, email or visit

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