The Scoop View All →

More Grass Than Cattle – What Do You Do?

By   4 days ago

This week we’re sharing some questions from readers that we think you, the On Pasture Community, will have some good answers for. One reader wants to know about grass finishing cows purchased at the sale barn. John Marble has provided one right answer, and we think you’ll have other thoughts. We’d also like you to […]

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What Went Right, What Went Wrong, and What Could Be Done Better

By   2 weeks ago

There are tons of quotes out there about mistakes as a path toward learning and doing better the next time. And there’s a lot of inspirational stuff about how innovation comes from failing, and trying over and over again, and some college graduates have even been told to “go forth and fail” by their commencement […]

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Go FCC Yourself

By   3 weeks ago

Changes being proposed by the Federal Communications Commission could make it more difficult for you to access On Pasture. If that could be a problem for you here’s what you can do about it.

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Building a Better On Pasture (No Money Involved!)

By   4 weeks ago

We need your help to keep On Pasture growing in a direction that suits you best. So we’re asking you to answer 10 questions. Your responses will help guide us when we’re picking the articles. They will also be helpful when we approach granters for funding. If you value On Pasture, then share you thoughts, […]

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Assessment Time

By   1 month ago

Last week was taxes crunch, which does sound like a tasty ice cream flavor, but we all know it’s not nearly as fun. Leading up to the day of reckoning meant getting together all of the number-filled papers that have strange names like K-1, and 1099, and W-2. In Alabama, there’s an A-1 form, which […]

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The Right Growing Environment Makes All the Difference

By   1 month ago

My effort to grow popcorn this year in Tucson, Arizona has reinforced an important lesson about the importance of the right growing environment. The corn in these two pots was planted on the same day, and have gotten the same amount of water. But the corn on the right was planted in brand new potting […]

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We’ve Raised $1,500 of the $15,000 We Need This Year to Keep On Pasture Going

By   2 months ago

We started our Spring Fund drive on March 21, On Pasture’s 4th Birthday. If you’ve already responded to our request for support, thank you very much! We really appreciate you stepping up to help! If you haven’t had a chance to visit our support page and send some help, here’s why we’re asking: On Pasture […]

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Farmers and Writers Have It Made!

By   2 months ago

The first thing we did when On Pasture was awarded a Conservation Innovation Grant to cover expenses was to send a gift to those authors who have supported On Pasture with lots of great articles and information. Like us, they did it for free for four years, and since we had a little funding now, […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Rotational Grazing on a Large Scale: Duval County Ranch in Texas

    By   4 days ago

    My name is David Kitner, and I am the manager of Killam Ranch Properties, Ltd. I manage several ranches from South Texas to the Flint Hills of SE Kansas. My presentation will mainly focus on the transformation of the Duval County Ranch in Deep South Texas, and how I utilize rotational grazing to benefit the […]

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    Please Keep Off the Grass: Post-Drought Grazing Management

    By   2 weeks ago

    For many livestock producers it has been a difficult year requiring significant amounts of extra feed. Now it is the beginning of May and things are greening up nicely. Here in New Hampshire we have gotten a good amount of moisture so our drought conditions are easing and disappearing. I know many producers who are […]

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    Ute Creek Cattle Company’s Success With Holistic Management

    By   3 weeks ago

    Jack and Tuda Libby Crews are the seventh generation living and working on the Ute Creek Cattle Company near Mosquero, New Mexico. When they inherited Tuda’s family ranch and moved back in 2001, Tuda writes “Jack and I were faced with myriad challenges as a severe 12-year drought and poor management showed 50 percent bare […]

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    A Guide to Farming Friendly Solar

    By   4 weeks ago

    As Vermont continues to seek to invest in sustainable energy, interest in on-farm solar generation has grown. (It’s probably no surprise that some of the attributes that make land good for farming also can make it desirable for solar arrays.)  For many communities, this has raised concerns about loss of valuable farm land and impacts […]

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    Minimize the Effects of Drought

    By   1 month ago

    A few weeks ago, Troy Bishopp shared how lessons learned from the 2012 drought taught him to be better prepared when the 2016 drought hit. Here are ways that you can be as successful as Troy. How do you minimize the effects of drought? Start with a plan. Drought effects on pasture forages can be […]

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    Pasture Rental Rates by County in the United States

    By   1 month ago

    “Pasture lease rates” is one of the searches we see most often at On Pasture. We’ve published a lot of articles on how to determine rental rates and how to write up a lease agreement, etc. (just click to see them) but I’m guessing that many of you would still like to see a number […]

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    Calving On The Move With Mob Grazing

    By   2 months ago

    When the spring flush of grass kicks off with pastures exploding in growth, it can be difficult to keep up with new growth. Then you add in calving in the mob with frequent spring moves and things can get out of hand in a hurry. The last thing you want to do for the grass […]

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    Post-Fire Management on Eastern Colorado Rangelands

    By   2 months ago

    Some areas of the country have already seen range fires. With a hot summer on the way, here’s what successful post-fire management looks like.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      What You Can Tell by Looking At – And Touching – Your Soil

      By   4 days ago

      Thanks to Nick Comerford, University of Florida, and the Soil Science Society of America for this article! If you are outside and want to know something about the soil you are working with, and don’t have any fancy equipment, then this is for you. With a little bit of experience you can get an idea […]

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      Runaway Grass – What Can You Do?

      By   2 weeks ago

      If you’re looking out at pastures that are growing so fast you don’t know how to keep up, here are some tips for managing your grazing so that you slow the speed that forage matures, and you maintain quality forage.

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      ‘Free Aluminum’ Could Be Costing You Thousands of Dollars In Yield and Quality

      By   3 weeks ago

      Things that are invisible are not necessarily unimportant: oxygen, carbon monoxide, and gravity, to name a few. This is as true in the soil as it is above ground.  While we tend to think of soil as ‘sand, silt, and clay’, there are many tremendously important things in it that are invisible or barely visible […]

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      What Do Different Plants Tell Us About Our Soils and How to Improve Them?

      By   4 weeks ago

      Greg Brann, Natural Resources Conservation Service Grazing Specialist in Tennessee, recently sent some information out to his local farmers about “indicator plants” along with some tips for how to use that information to improve soil health and pasture quality.  It’s good information for everyone to consider. What Are Indicator Plants? Indicator Plants are plants that, […]

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      Manure and Bedding Composting for Energy and Fertilizer

      By   4 weeks ago

      University of New Hampshire researcher John Aber has been using a Northeast SARE Agroecosystems award to explore the waste streams and energy cycles on an organic dairy farm. The purpose of his research is to help dairy farmers take advantage of manure, bedding, and waste hay by turning it into energy and fertilizer for the […]

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      Seeing the Pasture for the Trees

      By   1 month ago

      Shade is a common concern. It imposes some limitations on growing a productive pasture, but working creatively to manage trees, grass, and animals in balance can yield unique rewards.

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      Grazing Crop Residue Doesn’t Cause Compaction

      By   1 month ago

      This story comes to us from Will Cushman at the Soil Science Society of America. Thanks, Will! It makes sense that a 1,200 pound Angus cow would place quite a lot of pressure on the ground on which it walks. But a new Nebraska study shows that even these heavy beasts can’t do much to […]

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      Success of Reed Canary Grass Seedings With and Without Companion Crops

      By   2 months ago

      Dan Hudson has been running test plots to share information on establishment of reed canary grass with and without companion or nurse crops. His results, shown in this video of his plots one year after planting, can give you some idea of what to expect in your own pastures and plantings and how these kinds […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Are the Cows Ready to Breed?

        By   4 days ago

        Assuming a 283-day gestation, if the cow that calved on April 1 wants to maintain her position as the first cow to calve on April 1, she only has 82 days to recoup from calving, start lactating and be cycling the day the bulls arrive in the pasture. And so the question of the day: […]

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        Growing Our Poultry Operation with Our Own USDA Inspected Processing Plant

        By   2 weeks ago

        Maple Wind Farm, owned by Bruce Hennessey and Beth Whiting, is a diversified, pasture-based livestock, organic vegetable, and maple products farm located on two conserved properties in Huntington and Richmond, VT. Here’s how they worked through the process of growing their pastured poultry business with their own processing facility.

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        Zero Tolerance for Bad Cows

        By   3 weeks ago

        I apologize if the following words are too harsh, but they are true. Unfortunately, some know the feeling all too well. The beef business has risks, and one risk is bad-tempered cows, cows that want to kill you. Most cows respect their caregivers and have only goodwill. But for those of a different temperament, get […]

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        Do Your Calves Have Winter Coats?

        By   4 weeks ago

        Most of us have one or two winter coats.   Sometimes we wear more than one coat at the same time.   Winter is a time of shorter days and colder temperatures.   Unless you live in the tropics, you need to wear a coat most of the time during the winter months. God created cattle to have […]

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        Regain Genetic Parasite Resistance

        By   1 month ago

        What is the first line of defense when parasites attack livestock? A drug (chemical) is immediately purchased and applied to the animal. Does it work? Yes, it usually does. For how long? Days, weeks, months, rarely more than one year and then the predators return. Or does the chemical become ineffective after several years of […]

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        Treating Parasites in Small Ruminants

        By   1 month ago

        It turns out, treating every animal in the herd 2 or more times a year, as many of us were taught, creates more problems than it solves. Here’s what we should do instead.

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        What Do Cows Eat, and Why?

        By   2 months ago

        On its face, this seems like a silly question. Don’t we all know what cows eat?! So when Fred Provenza, as a new professor at Utah State University, chose this question for his research focus, there were some raised eyebrows. Three decades of research later, it turns out that Dr. Provenza’s research was ground-breaking, giving […]

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        Spring Pasture Bloat Prevention and Cures

        By   2 months ago

        This article comes to us from Ron Lemenager1, Allen Bridges1, Matt Claeys1, and Keith Johnson2 Purdue University Departments of Animal Sciences1 and Agronomy2. Last week they shared information on Grass Tetany to help you keep your animals safe during the spring flush. This week they’ll cover another danger of spring: Bloat. Bloat is a digestive disorder […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          What Size Cow Is Right for Grass-Finishing?

          By   4 days ago

          One of our On Pasture readers sent us this question: I would like to know what size I should be buying cows in order to grass finish before slaughter. I know grass fed beef is different than grain fed beef. Can you help? Since John Marble frequents sale barns for some of the stock on […]

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          Your Role In A Better Tenant Landlord Relationship

          By   2 weeks ago

          We have had very good results with keeping long land leases by focusing on keeping good landlord relationships. This article is going to review our practices that have been very successful in keeping our leased land. I will also review some of the mistakes that we have made in the past that resulted in us […]

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          A Radical Homemaker’s Take on Investing

          By   3 weeks ago

          I received a phone call recently from someone in the media, who introduced himself by way of exclaiming “Is it true that you have a family of four and live on less than $45,000 per year? And if so, how is that POSSIBLE?” I answered his questions, then hung up and ran my latest financial […]

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          Manure and Bedding Composting for Energy and Fertilizer

          By   4 weeks ago

          University of New Hampshire researcher John Aber has been using a Northeast SARE Agroecosystems award to explore the waste streams and energy cycles on an organic dairy farm. The purpose of his research is to help dairy farmers take advantage of manure, bedding, and waste hay by turning it into energy and fertilizer for the […]

          Read More →

          A Guide to Farming Friendly Solar

          By   4 weeks ago

          As Vermont continues to seek to invest in sustainable energy, interest in on-farm solar generation has grown. (It’s probably no surprise that some of the attributes that make land good for farming also can make it desirable for solar arrays.)  For many communities, this has raised concerns about loss of valuable farm land and impacts […]

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          Don’t Let a Down Market Get You Down

          By   1 month ago

          When times get tough, the tough start…thinking differently. Kit shares some things to keep in mind when building a new cattle business or keeping your current operation profitable.

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          The Progressing Farmer Buys a Farm Part 2: Getting Your Head Right

          By   1 month ago

          In Part 1 of this series, Jenn Colby described her drive to farm, how hard she worked to make a go of it on a tight budget, the business plan that told her, don’t quit your day job and maybe get a better paying job so you can afford your farming dream, and how that […]

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          Pasture Rental Rates by County in the United States

          By   1 month ago

          “Pasture lease rates” is one of the searches we see most often at On Pasture. We’ve published a lot of articles on how to determine rental rates and how to write up a lease agreement, etc. (just click to see them) but I’m guessing that many of you would still like to see a number […]

          Read More →

            Consider This View All →

            Farmer to Save 1 Billion Gallons of Water a Year Thanks to a Conservation Partnership

            By   4 days ago

            Wolfe Family Farm and The Freshwater Trust are working together to transition nearly 1,100 acres of forage and grain crops from flood irrigation to pivot sprinkler irrigation. The Freshwater Trust, a nonprofit freshwater conservation and restoration organization, received nearly $1.4 million from the Oregon Water Resources Department to cover upgrading irrigation infrastructure, transferring points of […]

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            The Failure of Reduction When It Comes to Working With People

            By   2 weeks ago

            Remember the movie Better Off Dead? That movie is a family Christmas tradition for us. Lane Meyer has to ski a dangerous mountain to prove himself to Beth. He seeks advice and receives the most boiled-down help imaginable. While entirely accurate, it is incorrect and Lane barely escapes injury. I was talking to our children recently […]

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            The Future of Conservation and Ranching Looks Like This

            By   3 weeks ago

            Jason Saulan landed in Eagle Point, Oregon three years ago. “General Manager of C2 Cattle Company,” a 9,200-acre, 800 head cattle operation, was the latest post in his 20-year ranching career. “I actually started as a cowboy,” he said. “I worked my way through a few of the largest ranches in the country.” Two decades […]

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            The Froze Cow Incident

            By   4 weeks ago

            There are people that we meet in this life who, for reasons that we are not smart enough to understand, hold a special place in the compost of our memory. They are there all the time but every so often something will happen that will bring them to the top of the pile and every […]

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            Is Where to Cut Costs the Right Question?

            By   1 month ago

            Enhance Your Grazing Knowledge: This was the title of a grazing conference that I had the opportunity to be a part of on Mar. 16 and 17. This conference was sponsored by the Arkansas Grazing Lands Coalition and due to the demand was held in two locations. Thursday the 16th we were at Arkansas Tech […]

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            Don’t Forget to Nurture Yourself, Ranch Women

            By   1 month ago

            When Julie told her parents she was marrying a cowboy and leaving the city for ranch life, they were worried. Decades later, Morris Grassfed Beef is a leader in the industry and Julie is still loving the life she chose. Here’s the story of how it all worked out.

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            Blaming Our Troubles on the Market

            By   2 months ago

            If you want to experience the unhappiness radiating throughout the ranching business, there is no better place to visit than your local auction yard. The sellers come drifting in, some wearing a stoic grimace, most bringing the face of defeat. There is some mumbling and grinding of teeth. The professional buyers know enough to keep […]

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            Autumn Olive Recipes

            By   2 months ago

            This week Greg Judy tells us all about Autumn Olive management and how he’s learned to use it as a tool for improving the soils in his pastures and as a forage for his livestock. He also mentions that it provides a pretty tasty forage crop. A side benefit of eating the berries is that […]

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              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              Young Animals Experienced With Poor Quality Forage Will Do Better Throughout Life

              By   4 days ago

              This was originally published in May of 2015. Spring is always a good time to remember this. Many livestock, particularly those making a living on rangelands, encounter poor-quality forages at some point in the grazing season or during the winter, (less than 7% crude protein and 50% TDN). But that doesn’t have to be a problem. We’ve […]

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              How to Identify Your Pasture Grasses

              By   2 weeks ago

              Here are links to handouts, online booklets, and websites that can help you figure out what you’ve got in your pasture so you can get a leg up on managing your forage successfully.

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              Shade That Moves Where You Need It

              By   3 weeks ago

              Shade can solve a lot of problems. It can improve livestock grazing and production. Cattle without shade gain less weight and produce less milk than their cool counterparts. Fertility rates drop too. Shade also impacts productivity by changing where animals deposit manure, and how much of your pasture gets grazed. But getting shade where you […]

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              What Are Your Soils Capable Of?

              By   4 weeks ago

              Not all soils are created equal. You can improve your soils to a degree, but it’s always a good idea to set your expectations based on your soil’s capabilities. That way you’re working with what you’ve got and not throwing good money after bad. So do yourself a favor and check out the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s web soil survey site.

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              How the Sand Ranch Became Profitable (And How You Can Do It Too!)

              By   1 month ago

              This is the first in a series that ran through May of 2016. It takes us through the changes that Cody and Deanna Sand made to their operation that mad their ranch profitable and their lives more fun. Cody and Deanna shared their story at NatGLC’s 2015 grazing conference. Enjoy! The year that they sold […]

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              Linger Grazing Improves Your Pastures and Your Life

              By   1 month ago

              Here’s what happens when we LINGER in our pastures a little longer. We can observe, learn what to do, and get more time with our friends and family too!

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              Precautions for Potential Mob Graziers

              By   2 months ago

              This Classic comes to us from our April 18, 2016 edition. Allan Savory states in his book “Holistic Management” that stock density is the most under-utilized tool in grazing management implying that most graziers have yet to experience the full range of benefits possible from this tool. There are reasons for this; primarily, they have […]

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              Which Weeds Are Good For Your Livestock?

              By   2 months ago

              It turns out many weeds are nutritionally as good as alfalfa. Here’s what good stuff you may have in your pasture and how to use it.

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                The Funnies View All →

                Rube Goldberg Cow

                By   4 days ago

                This hand made cow shows you how food moves from one end to the other.

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                Voting Has Consequences

                By   2 weeks ago

                Ah no, we wouldn’t really go all political on you! 🙂 Save

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                Have You Taken an Intelligence Test Lately?

                By   3 weeks ago

                Let us know how this one works out for you. Save Save

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                Beware of Tanning Beds

                By   4 weeks ago

                The results may not be what you hoped for. Save Save

                Read More →

                This Math Teacher Makes It Fun to Go to Class

                By   1 month ago

                Matthew Weathers is a math professor at Biola University in California. He always has something interesting for his students on April Fool’s Day. Here’s his 2017 offering. Enjoy!

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                Farm Informational Signs

                By   1 month ago

                If you have visitors coming who aren’t used to farms and ranches, you might need to post some signs to keep them safe. Here are some examples: Also, when you make signs, be sure they aren’t too confusing. Will the cows be able to close the gate? Will you have enough children in your stock […]

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                Kentucky Fried Chicken Dogs

                By   2 months ago

                What will a dog do for a little fried chicken? And what happens when they become what they love? HEY! We need YOUR HELP! Our grant doesn’t happen unless we meet our 2017 match. If you appreciate On Pasture and want it to live on, please send your support. Save

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                Farming is Easy Money!

                By   2 months ago

                Warning – Not Safe for Work (NSFW)! This is an oldie but goodie that we haven’t shared before because of the naughty words. We’ll be back to clean stuff next week, but since Forrest included it in his post, we thought, “What the heck!” Since you’re here … We need your help to meet the […]

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