Mobile County Cattleman Survives Through Prescribed Grazing
Mobile NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Marshall Colburn (l) and Mobile/Washington NRCS District Conservationist Joyce Nicholas (c) stand in a field of Sumrall 007 Bermuda grass with Mobile county cattle producer Clarence Ball.
By Marshall Colburn, NRCS Soil Conservation Technician, Mobile, Alabama
With temperatures reaching record highs and no rain for almost the whole month of June, Mobile County cattleman Clarence Ball states, "My cows can’t keep up with the growth I get on my Bermuda grass."
Mr. Ball attributes his success to the high quality Sumrall 007 Bermuda grass and his cross fencing. Using the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Mr. Ball was able to divide his 220 acre cattle operation into 8 different paddocks.
In years past, Mr. Ball would have had to supplement his grazing with hay during times of extreme heat and drought. "Having the different fields that I can rotate my cows between, allows me to keep a good healthy growing stand of grass," exclaims Mr. Ball.
Mr. Ball has had quite an asset in the "Survivor Game." Mr. Ball’s farm manager, who installed all of his cross fencing, pipeline, troughs, and Heavy Use Areas, is none other than the "Survivor" television show Tocantins winner, James (JT) Thomas, Jr.
"JT was an asset to me and my operation, even before winning the show, but it does make for a unique situation on my farm," says Ball.
"It (Survivor Tocantins) was a great experience and I made a lot of close connections through the show, but it is great to be back in lower Alabama and do what I love to do," stated JT.
l-r: Marshall Colburn, Mobile County Soil Conservation Technician; Josh Elliot, Mobile/Washington Soil Conservationist; “JT” Thomas, Farm Manager and Survivor Tocantins Winner; Joyce Nicholas, Mobile/Washington District Conservationist; and, Clarence Ball Jr., Mobile County cattle producer.