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The Scoop View All →

Three Steps to a Profitable Farm/Ranch – Webinar This Friday

By   4 days ago

The whole purpose of On Pasture is to help more folks make a better living. We’ve addressed ways to do that with grazing management, understanding how your forage works, and ways to manage livestock. But I’ve always wanted to do more to address teh most heartbreaking complaint I hear over and over from farmers and […]

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Get Your FREE 2019 Grazing Chart and Get Your Grazing Season Off On the Right Foot

By   2 weeks ago

You’ve heard this Chinese proverb, right? It’s the same with getting started planning your grazing. If you haven’t already started using a chart or some other management tool, the time to do it is now. And we’re lucky to have Troy Bishopp to help us get going. Troy is enthusiastic about grazing, about making it […]

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Asking for What You Want and Getting It – Lessons From a Cat

By   3 weeks ago

My cat is teaching me a new trick. I wrote about her a year ago, describing how she gets me up from my desk to feed her, watch her drink, and open doors for her. She gets all this by tapping on my leg and meowing to me. But lately, I’ve been pretty busy, and […]

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When Will Spring Arrive This Year?

By   4 weeks ago

For me, February is always the longest month, even though it has the fewest number of calendar days. It’s the month when winter has gone on long enough and I’m just done with it. It’s the month I start looking for Spring. So – will it be early this year? According to Punxatawney Phil, the […]

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Let Go of the Goat and No One Gets Hurt

By   1 month ago

Our livestock could be one of the biggest dangers to our safety.

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Are You a Super Farmer/Rancher?

By   1 month ago

I was supposed to be in Wisconsin this past week, enjoying the -20 degree temperatures, and speaking at the 2019 Grassworks conference. I didn’t make it. My first flight out was cancelled, and rescheduled for later in the afternoon. So I checked my bag and went home for a few hours. When I returned, my […]

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Is There One Right Answer?

By   2 months ago

When I was working for the Bureau of Land Management and stationed at Utah State University, a friend and I started an internship program called “Tehabi.” It gave students the background and experience they needed to work for land management agencies like the National Park Service, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and helped […]

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Maybe This is Why You Don’t Like the Research Coming From Land Grant Colleges

By   2 months ago

From time to time readers complain about the research coming out of our land grant colleges. “It headed us in the wrong direction.” “It only serves the big corporations.” “It doesn’t consider what farmers and ranchers need.” These are comments I’ve heard over the years. So why is that? Well one reason is funding. As […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    The Most Effective Pasture Rejuvenation Method Ever – and it’s FREE

    By   4 days ago

    Tom Krawiec and Troy Bishopp are on the same wave length – grazing charts are where it’s at if you want to have healthy pastures and a successful grazing season.

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    More Grazing Days = More Camping Days. Plan for It With Your Free Grazing Chart!

    By   2 weeks ago

    It’s that time of year again, where the annoying, persistent Grass Whisperer suggests, coerces or abruptly throws it down, that folks need to use a grazing planning/monitoring tool or device. I’ve been doing show and tell on this subject for 7 years now. Why do I keep up the reminders and offer free grazing chart […]

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    Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 1

    By   3 weeks ago

    We think it is far more important to stop making hay on your land than it is to stop feeding hay on your land. Here are some things to think about. What Made Sense in 1973 Doesn’t Make Sense Today Making hay is a whole lot more expensive than it used to be. This table […]

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    Getting Water to the Stock Means a Ranch Survives

    By   3 weeks ago

    Thanks to Heather Emmons of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this story of how to get water where livestock need it. (It comes to us from the  Conservation Roadtrip and you can see it in it’s original form here.) It can give you an idea of how you might work with the NRCS on […]

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    Grazing Management Using Cow Pie GIS

    By   4 weeks ago

    GIS is an abbreviation for Geographic Information Systems. In practical terms GIS is the application of the science of location and all things related. In the last several years significant advances on global positioning and high tech farm equipment has leveraged this technology to increase yields  on grain farms, more efficiently apply fertilizers to growing […]

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    Our Move to Year-Round Grazing

    By   1 month ago

    Dean Schneider, a rancher in Oklahoma, is moving to year round grazing after decades of making and feeding hay. Here’s how he’s managing the change.

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    You Do Not Have to Move Cows Every Day

    By   2 months ago

    You do not have to move cows every day to build soil health. You don’t always have to stretch polywire to implement rotational grazing. Sometimes you will have to feed hay, and this can be as constructive as it is destructive. There is a growing trend that I am seeing in “regenerative” agriculture to push […]

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    Tips for Grazing Cover Crops

    By   2 months ago

    When we graze cover-crops we always need to be considering both meeting the livestock needs as well as soil building objectives. The more cover-crop yield you can produce, the more biomass you can afford to leave behind. Here is an example of grazing BMR sorghum yielding over 180 AUD/acre while leaving well over one ton […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 3

      By   4 days ago

      If you missed them, catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. Having a systematic approach to hay feeding is a critical part of maximizing the nutrient benefits you get when feeding hay is a big piece of your pasture fertility program. We have already seen in the previous post the […]

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      Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 2

      By   2 weeks ago

      This is Part 2 in Jim’s series. If you missed Part 1, here you go! When you feed hay for fertilizer, we often think of it as a way to reduce the need for purchased fertilizer, especially Nitrogen (N). Have you thought about how much N you may actually be applying when you feed hay? […]

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      A Rancher’s Discovery Shows Promise for Controlling Medusahead Rye

      By   3 weeks ago

      In two previous articles, Beth Burritt wrote about the scariest invasive plant I know, Medusahead rye. This week, I’m sharing the good news that there may be a solution for controlling it.

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      Planting Ryegrass for Winter Grazing

      By   4 weeks ago

      Even if you’re not planting ryegrass, Don’s tips work for prepping for other seeding for pasture improvements as well.

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      Is More Soil Organic Matter Always Better?

      By   1 month ago

      Here’s a press release from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies sharing some new information about soil organic matter’s contribution to crop yields. While increasing soil organic matter provides numerous benefits (like carbon sequestration, improved water-holding capacity and reduced run-off and erosion), it turns out that some of the science about increases in production […]

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      Thinking of Seeding Your Pastures?

      By   2 months ago

      By this time of year, any seeding of forages would be considered a dormant seeding. Seeds planted now will lay there until the right conditions present themselves closer to spring. Most producers with pasture or hay ground understand the concept of “frost-seeding.” Frost-seeding is taking advantage of the freeze-thaw process of the soil during winter […]

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      Preventing the Spread of Medusahead

      By   2 months ago

      Last week we looked at why Medusahead Rye is so dangerous. This week Beth shares how we can prevent its spread. These tips are important for preventing the spread of all kinds of weedy species, so check them out and use them, even if you don’t have Medusahead. Preventing medusahead from establishing in new areas […]

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      The Curse of Medusahead Rye

      By   2 months ago

      A team of genetic engineers couldn’t have devised a more ecologically lethal and effective invasive weed than Medusahead Rye. Beth Burritt is one of the researchers working on ways to stop it in it’s march across the U.S. from west to east. In this series of articles she shares what we need to know about the plant, and about a treatment that a rancher discovered that just may be a solution.

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        Livestock View All →

        Calf Scour Management

        By   4 days ago

        Thanks to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for providing this great information! Calf scours can cause a large financial loss to cow-calf producers. With scours, the intestine fails to absorb fluids and/or secretion, and the material is passed into the small and large intestines. These higher fluid levels in the manure result in a watery discharge. […]

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        Turning Your Herd – How To Guide Them Once You’ve Got Them Moving

        By   3 weeks ago

        Here’s another in Whit Hibbard’s series on Low-Stress Livestock Handling. Earlier this year Tom Krawiec wrote about how he used these techniques to save his ranch $2400. Whit is following up with the information you need to build your own skills. Check out our Special Collection of Whit’s articles to see everything in the series. […]

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        Driving Your Herd – Better Techniques to Get Where You’re Going

        By   1 month ago

        Last week Tom Krawiec wrote about how much money he saved simply by using low-stress handling to drive his cattle. Since folks wanted to learn more, Whit is sharing this article on the low-stress handling techniques that made Tom’s cattle drive possible. Just about everything we do with our cattle comes down to driving them […]

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        Teaching Cattle To Graze Like Goats

        By   1 month ago

        Not so long ago, I visited Mike Roberts, the ranch manager at Waldron Ranch in Alberta, Canada. Mike is definitely one of those outside-the-box thinkers. As a great example, he is teaching his cattle to be goats to control woody species invasion on native rangelands. On part of the ranch, he has developed about 50 […]

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        The Importance of Being Earnest About Low Stress Handling

        By   1 month ago

        Low-Stress Livestock handling is more than just being kind to your animals and the people working with you. As Tom points out, the money it saves you can be very significant!

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        Help Replacement Heifers Be More Successful Calving and Breeding Back

        By   2 months ago

        In this video from Oklahoma State University Extension and SunUp TV, Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Cattle Specialist, talks about the key to your replacement heifers have a successful first calving: it’s good body condition. This means that on a one to nine scale, they should be at least at the mid-point of 5, and even […]

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        Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Starting Herd Movement For a Successful Drive

        By   2 months ago

        For the past few years, Whit Hibbard has been sharing a series of articles on Low-Stress Livestock Handling (LSLH). We’ve gathered these articles as one of our Special Collections so you can see them all. Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing a number of new articles in upcoming issues of On Pasture. Driving—the active process […]

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        Prepping for Calving Season

        By   2 months ago

        Most of these tips apply to any kind of livestock that will be giving birth. So check it out!

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          Money Matters View All →

          New ARS Study Shows U.S. Beef Is Not a Significant Contributor to Global Warming

          By   4 days ago

          An Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-led team has completed a comprehensive life-cycle analysis quantifying the resource use and various environmental emissions of beef cattle production in the United States. Their results so far indicate that U.S. beef’s contribution to climate change is small percentage of the country’s Greenhouse Gas emissions, and were not a significant contributor […]

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          Shiitake Mushrooms Add Value to Silvopasture

          By   4 weeks ago

          Note from Kathy: In April of 2018 I visited Greg and Jan Judy at Green Pastures farm. When I arrived, Greg was in the middle of inoculating logs with Shiitake mushroom mycelium, and he explained the process and the adjustments they’d made to their operation as it has grown. Check out Greg’s video here, as […]

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          Jumping In With Both Feet – How One Young Rancher Got Started in the 21st Century

          By   1 month ago

          Last month John described what successful ranching might look like in the future, and what steps young ranchers might consider. This article is another look at that subject, sharing the example of  a young entrepreneur finding success with a diverse, forward-thinking business model. My young friend Cody Wood is a nut; anyone can see that. […]

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          The Importance of Being Earnest About Low Stress Handling

          By   1 month ago

          Low-Stress Livestock handling is more than just being kind to your animals and the people working with you. As Tom points out, the money it saves you can be very significant!

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          Successes In My Heifer Development Business

          By   2 months ago

          I spent my first four years in the grazing business running custom cow-calf pairs. It wasn’t profitable for me and I determined that it wasn’t the best use of my resources (as I discussed in some of my On Pasture articles in 2018). In spring 2018, I switched to being a seasonal operation. I bought […]

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          Lies, Scams, Disagreements, Misunderstandings – The Need for Written Agreements and/or Contracts

          By   2 months ago

          We all prefer trusting and being trustworthy, but sometimes things just don’t work out without a contract of some sort to clarify expectations. Here are some examples of problems that could have been prevented by having more than a handshake.

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          Ranching in the Future – What Should Young Ranchers Expect?

          By   2 months ago

          I recently received a note from a young friend (let’s call her Peggy Sue) who desperately wants to be a rancher. Since her childhood she has dreamed of working with animals. She has learned about marketing and economics. She’s studied hard and become a competent grazier. She’s done some hard work. But she’s getting a […]

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          Building a Beef Business – Lessons Learned

          By   3 months ago

          Meg Grzeskiewicz has always wanted to be a rancher. But getting there without a family farm to start from means she’s facing challenges that many new farmers and ranchers face: how to develop the skills and how to find a land base to work from. She’s taken these challenges head on, starting first with getting […]

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            You Can Train Your Livestock to Eat Those Weeds – No Matter the Size of Your Pasture

            By   4 days ago

            From March of 2018, it’s my annual reminder to you! It’s that time of year again when those special forbs start poking their heads up in your grassy pastures. That means it’s also the time of year when I remind you, “Those are NOT weeds. That is good forage!” And then I remind you that […]

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            Mud Season Is Coming – How to Set Up Spring Grazing For Success All Year Long

            By   2 weeks ago

            From March of 2017, Greg Judy’s tips for transitioning through mud season to good grazing. In just a few weeks it will officially be Spring. It’s the time when we start seeing a tinge of green grass poking its baby head up. Middle of March is also the normal time to have tons of mud […]

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            Can You Graze Through the Winter in Extreme Cold and Deep Snow?

            By   3 weeks ago

            On Pasture began sharing videos from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry back in 2017. It’s still one of the best resources we’ve found for showing how to reduce costs and labor to get livestock through the winter. Enjoy! One of the biggest challenges farmers and ranchers face is feeding their livestock through winter. It can be […]

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            Growing Multiple Forage Species is Good For Your Pastures and Your Animals

            By   4 weeks ago

            Thanks to Jesse Morrison of Mississippi State and the Soil Science Society of America for this article from January of 2018. It might help you give some thought to what you want to plant if you’re thinking of adding to your pastures this year. Although it might seem like grazing animals will eat any grass […]

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            Grab the Bull by the Horns – What to Consider When Buying a Bull

            By   1 month ago

            Are you looking for a new bull? This January 2018 article has some suggestions as you search. The purchase of a bull is a significant investment and represents the genetic future of the calves and in many cases replacement heifers that will go into the cowherd. The following are thoughts on a process that producers […]

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            Rancher Doubles Forage Production by Grazing Half and Resting Half

            By   1 month ago

            In February of 2017 we took readers on a summer visit to South Dakota with this article and video. Since so many of you just made it through the Polar Vortex, we thought another summer trip was in order in 2019. We hope it helps you look forward to warmer times! Charlie and his wife […]

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            Figuring Out How Often You Should Move Your Herd

            By   2 months ago

            This week James Matthew Craighead points out that we don’t have to move our cows every day. John Marble adds to that idea with a look at the lifestyle and economic choices involved in our grazing management.  This brought up quite a discussion when we first ran this in January of 2018! I’ve added those […]

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            Grazing Hacks for Feeding Mineral, Blocking Water Gaps and Solar Charger Stands

            By   2 months ago

            Steve shared this information with us back in back in January of 2015. They’re ideas that will still work today. And if you’ve got ideas, do share! Your On Pasture community would love to have your help. Dan Divine, a former NRCS agent based in Wright County Missouri, was telling me about his water gap […]

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              Consider This View All →

              The Little Things Matter

              By   2 weeks ago

              Little things add up to big things that cost time and money. Here’s how to stop them while they’re small.

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              Getting Water to the Stock Means a Ranch Survives

              By   3 weeks ago

              Thanks to Heather Emmons of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this story of how to get water where livestock need it. (It comes to us from the  Conservation Roadtrip and you can see it in it’s original form here.) It can give you an idea of how you might work with the NRCS on […]

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              From Tibet, With Love

              By   4 weeks ago

              When your spouse knows you and what you love, even the most ordinary ranch supplies can become a sweet gift.

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              Sojourn in the Snow

              By   1 month ago

              Have you been having any fun lately? Troy reminds us to be kids once in awhile.

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              A Bull Named Pron

              By   2 months ago

              We were over at John Seal’s one day looking to buy some of those big Holstein heifers from Wisconsin that he would go up there and get about twice a year. We were trying to grow our outfit and our heifer production, in our mind, was going too slow. We had bought heifers from John […]

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              Soil Fertility and Good Feed – That’s Why Greg Judy Unrolls Hay

              By   2 months ago

              Back in 1999 when we first started leasing idle land for grazing that needed serious fertility, I designed my first bale unroller. We had all these old farms that had been stripped of their fertility by folks continuously haying them every year without putting back any nutrients. We did not have any money to fertilize […]

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              New Ideas to Solve Old Problems

              By   3 months ago

              John Marble, another of On Pasture’s Writers in Residence, has been writing for On Pasture for a little over two years. He focuses on helping us take a new look at things we might take for granted. Examples include his thoughts on paddock design and moving livestock, and his article “From Minimal To Mob – […]

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              The Giving Farm

              By   3 months ago

              In 1971, I was a confused eight year old who cried in horror as men lashed my grandfather William’s fourteen, beloved Guernsey cows in an attempt to make them walk up the steep ramp into a cattle truck destined for the auction barn. The sober event was dictated by the decision not to spend money […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Extreme Ironing

                By   4 days ago

                Here’s a new sport to try – from the man who invented it!

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                Flamingo Sledding

                By   2 weeks ago

                If you’re in the path of the latest snowstorm, here’s an idea for making the most of it. Get your own personal flamingo. 🙂 They have ice dragons, unicorns, penguins and polar bears too. I know – what will they think of next?!

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                Never Buy a Dog When You’re Drunk

                By   3 weeks ago

                Unless you’re a farmer or rancher…

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                Housekeeping Advice

                By   4 weeks ago

                This could save you some time!

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                A Little Valentine’s Day Assistance

                By   1 month ago

                Did you forget your sweetie? Don’t worry! Choose your card, print it off, and voila! You’re good to go! Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! Kathy              

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                Sheep and Goats on Ice

                By   1 month ago

                Even on four feet, ice can be a tricky thing!

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                Relationship Questions

                By   2 months ago

                Have you ever heard this?

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                For You Bacon Lovers

                By   2 months ago

                Sometimes bacon comes before everything.

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