The Evergreen East Year Round Hog Feeding System

To feed hogs for market sustainably with minimal to zero off farm inputs requires a system of agriculture that will leverage fruit and nut trees, annual crops, and permanent pasture.  These different types of plantings of sufficient quantity will help ensure a bounty of feed with which to raise hogs.  The Tree crops to leverage are Mulberry, Persimmon, Crabapple, and Oak Trees with an additional minor amount of fruit orchard waste.  The annual crops to leverage are Austrian Winter Peas (AWPs), Iron Clay Peas (ICPs), Canola, Oats,  Millet, and open-pollinated Corn.  The permanent pastures include Native Grasses, Bahia Grass, Sericea Lespedeza, White Clover, and some Bermuda.  To outline our feeding plans, we split the year into quarters:

1st Quarter – This is the most difficult time to feed hogs sustainably.  The Fall crops have been hogged down, and the Spring crops are a few months away.  Additionally, the fields are usually wet during this time of year which makes it a challenge to let the hogs “hog off” the crops without damaging the land.  In early January, there may be some leftover persimmons, crabapples, and acorns, but the green oats will be the primary grazing crop.  As January comes to an end, the Canola fields should be ready to be grazed and will be the primary grazing crop during the remainder of the first quarter and on until the end of April.   

2nd Quarter - April hog feeding will still benefit from Oats and Canola.  The Canola crops will be beginning to mature if managed well the preceding months, and the Oat crop will be maturing.  Additionally, the AWP crop will be maturing and ready to provide protein for the Hogs during April and May.  The Hogs will be able to grow on this combination of Canola, Oats, and AWPs during the entire 2nd Quarter.  As June arrives, the Mulberries will begin dropping, and will supplement the permanent pasture crop that is producing at a high rate.  Additionally, during June, the Millet is able to be grazed at its green stage.

3rd Quarter – As July arrives, the early corn is ready for hogging off.  The hogs will subsist on Mulberries, Corn, Millet, and pasture during July and August.  As August arrives, some of the early Persimmons and Crabapples may begin dropping.  As September approaches, the Iron Clay Peas will be mature and ready to “hog off”, and the persimmons and Crabapples will be dropping.  This period will fatten the hogs most rapidly. 

4th Quarter – The Iron Clay Peas will continue to provide protein till 1st frost if we can keep the deer off of them.  Additionally, the Hogs will be able to hog off the corn fields, and will continue to glean fruits from the Persimmons and Crabapples.  Additionally, towards the end of the 4th Quarter, the Acorns are laying in wait for the omnivourous Hogs.

Other crops to research – Chicory (Perennial?), Turnips, Buckwheat, Peanuts, Sorghum, and Sorghum X Sudan, Barley

Planting Dates: April 15 to May 15 – Corn, May 1st to July 1 – Iron Clay Peas, May 1 to Aug 10 – Pearl Millet, Sept 15 to Oct 1 – AWPs, October 10 to Nov 10 – Canola, Oct 1 to Oct 30 – Oats

Field Rotations: Winter: Austrian Winter Peas, Oats, Canola; Summer: Iron Clay Peas, Corn, Double Cropped Pearl Millet

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