It is this time of year that I take notice of the fields. Covered with a thick blanket of snow. At rest and waiting for the rays of the sun to warm and pull spring from its hiding place. I talked to our farmer and asked him about the fields. Here are some of the comments he had about what happens when a field is at rest.
In the fall when he cuts the hay for the last time he leaves the hay longer than during the summer cuttings. Around 5 to 6 inches. This helps the snow to accumulate in the field creating a warm blanket. I was surprised to learn that the blanket of snow insulates the ground and the root systems of the grass and alfalfa. The plants go into a dormant state but are not killed off. The accumulation of snow also helps to provide the field with moisture.
In the spring as the days get longer and warmer there is snow melt happening from bottom up. Yes the warm earth and root systems start to draw the melted snow down into them. The other added benefit of a field of grass is that it warms slower than a cultivated field which is dark and warms quickly. Because of the slower snow melt there is more moisture available for the plants as they begin to grow in the spring.
The importance of this varies from year to year based on the amount of rains received in the spring.
Beneath the snow the field waits to once again yields its Grass-fed Goodness!