The Scoop View All →

Spring!

CactusBlooming

By   5 days ago

This week’s Scoop is being written by Mother Nature and YOU! So we’re sharing pictures of what Mother Nature is up to in our backyards, and invite you to send some our way as well.  Add them to an email and we’ll load them up here, creating a picture of what this time of year […]

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Fencing Help For You!

My poor backpack has never been used for an actual backpacking trip….it's only gone on fencing trips.

By   2 weeks ago

I’ve built a lot of fences in the last 15 years and even though I know that fences are important for my livestock, my forage, and my bottom line, I don’t enjoy them so much. I built 5-strand poly-wire fences for research plots for goats grazing brush, and goat netting fences for a herd of […]

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Rent a No Till Drill for On Pasture

Here's the Haybuster 107 no till drill for rent from Richard Parrott. If you're near Buhl, Idaho, click on over to find out how to rent it.

By   3 weeks ago

This week we want to point out a special classified ad that comes from one of Kathy’s friends in Buhl, Idaho. If you’re in the area, or any of the neighboring states west of the Mississippi, you can rent a Haybuster 107 from Richard Parrott and use it to improve your pastures. Why are we telling you […]

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Levitation and Imaginary Friends

Magic-lev_0

By   4 weeks ago

Since you’re our community, we thought you’d like to know where we stand after two years of publishing On Pasture. Things are looking pretty good too!

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French Fries and a Side of On Pasture

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By   1 month ago

The average American eats 113 orders of french fries per year, 30 lbs of fries, two servings or orders per week.  In calories, it’s about 26,000. Yup. 26,000 calories. Thirteen days of nothing but fries. Ok, done puking? The average cost of ordering fries each year is about $189 ($1.67/serving). Want to buy a side order of […]

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You Can Read On Pasture Without Being a Member, But If You’re Not a Member, On Pasture Can’t Survive

Business Plan Small

By   1 month ago

It’s March, and we’re celebrating On Pasture’s second birthday. We’re also having a “Membership March” for the very simple reason that there really is no such thing as a free lunch. Here’s why your support is so important: On Pasture is not supported by any grants or government funding.  We rely on advertisers, underwriters and our […]

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How to Start a Movement

Start a Movement

By   2 months ago

We’re turning two! To celebrate, all month long we’re sharing the On Pasture backstory, describing how we got to here, what we think is important about our work, and how we hope to contribute to our Community.

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Ridiculously Good

Screenshot 2015-02-23 15.56.13

By   2 months ago

How do you describe what you do? Are you a farmer, a rancher? Do you raise chickens, pigs, ducks, cattle? Are you a dairy farmer whose cows made the milk that went into yogurt recently pronounced “ridiculously good” by a very young reader of On Pasture? [If you are, thank you. The yogurt was also […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Mob Grazing – Definition, Benefits, Drawbacks and Implementation

    Mob Grazing Video Series

    By   5 days ago

    Anders Gurda created this set of videos as part of his graduate-thesis work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They answer the questions we all have when we’re learning about a new way to do something: What is it? What are the benefits? What are the downsides? And, how do I do it? Even better, the answers come […]

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    Take Stock of Your Pastures Now to Adjust Your Grazing Plan

    Victor Shelton, out kneeling in his field. (I really wanted to say outstanding in his pasture, but I couldn't find a picture of him standing!)

    By   2 weeks ago

    Using his own pastures as an example, Victor shows how checking what’s growing (or not) helps plan for the upcoming grazing season based on the needs of the forage.

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    Phosphorus, Your Fields and Pastures, and Water Quality Protection

    Well-established hay fields hold manure in place better than other cropped ground.

    By   2 weeks ago

    The results of studies in Vermont can help us keep our water clean while we raise good food for our community.

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    Ten Steps to Better Grasslands and Pastures

    Grasslands photo courtesy of wikipedia

    By   3 weeks ago

    As an extension educator at the county level, I read a lot of publications about the use and management of pasture and hay resources. My clients read the same publications and many still hesitate to try new grazing practices. Producers often believe a new practice will not work for them. Many farmers get enamored by […]

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    Managing Grazing So Animals Make the Most of Their Time

    a.baa-Cow-mowing-the-lawn-haha

    By   3 weeks ago

    With everything they have to accomplish in a day, your stock is a lot busier than you think. Here’s what you need to do to make sure they make the most of their time grazing.

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    Forages and Grazing Management to Extend Your Grazing Season

    Cows graze sudan grass.

    By   4 weeks ago

    This is Part 2 from UMN’s chapter on Managing Pastures for Year-Long Forage Supplies.

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    Roots Need Rest to Reach Resources: Managing for Pastures for Year-Long Forage, Part 1

    grass-roots

    By   1 month ago

    Hey, it’s the first in a series about how to plan for season-long forage in your pastures! We’re going to talk plants, planning, supplemental pastures, and supplying high quality fall forage. Here we go….

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    Grazed Rangelands Recover More Quickly From Fire

    Fire in cheatgrass. Photo courtesy of Mike Pellant, Bureau of Land Management

    By   1 month ago

    Even if you’re not grazing rangelands, the results of this study might give you some ideas of what to expect in grazed and ungrazed areas after fires. It might also give you some ideas about how you want to manage your grazing to protect forage and wildlife habitat.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Let’s Legalize Canada Thistle!

      Lots of Canada thistle at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

      By   5 days ago

      As states start legalizing marijuana for medical and even recreational use, Kathy asks the question, “Should we consider legalizing other weeds as well?” She starts with Canada thistle, her favorite grazeable pasture weed and adds an offer that can get you in the “habit” of weed grazing for free, or almost free.

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      43% Better – The Economics of Getting Your Livestock to Eat Weeds

      MTCowEatsThistle

      By   5 days ago

      When I started teaching cows to eat weeds, I thought everyone would see what I saw:  an economical alternative for weed management.  If cows or other livestock eat weeds, you don’t have to spend money on herbicide or buy fuel for spray rigs or mowers.  You don’t have to rent goats (sorry goat producers).  And […]

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      Phosphorus, Your Fields and Pastures, and Water Quality Protection

      Well-established hay fields hold manure in place better than other cropped ground.

      By   2 weeks ago

      The results of studies in Vermont can help us keep our water clean while we raise good food for our community.

      Read More →

      Grazing as a Low-Input Pasture Renovation Tool

      I really admire researchers who do the tedious work of gathering the information we need to make good decisions. For the plant surveys, Cindy stretched a tape measure across the paddock. Every 30 feet she identified the plants inside a 14 inch square, and figured out the percentage of space those plants occupied in the square. There were 4 to 5 sample squares in each of 12 paddocks. That means she did this for 48 to 60 squares!

      By   3 weeks ago

      This SARE supported on-farm research project is so full of information and lessons learned that it’s worth your while to read no matter what kind of livestock you raise. 

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      Ten Steps to Better Grasslands and Pastures

      Grasslands photo courtesy of wikipedia

      By   3 weeks ago

      As an extension educator at the county level, I read a lot of publications about the use and management of pasture and hay resources. My clients read the same publications and many still hesitate to try new grazing practices. Producers often believe a new practice will not work for them. Many farmers get enamored by […]

      Read More →

      Pigeon Peas Could Be Forage for the Herds, Not the Birds

      Pigeon peas going to flower. A forage crop and a soil improvement tool and food for the table as well.

      By   4 weeks ago

      Pigeon peas have been  cultivated for more than 3500 years, and they are pretty popular in much of the world. They are a common food grain in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and rank as the 6th most popular pulse (legume) in the world. But, pigeon peas haven’t gotten much traction in North America. Why the […]

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      Forages and Grazing Management to Extend Your Grazing Season

      Cows graze sudan grass.

      By   4 weeks ago

      This is Part 2 from UMN’s chapter on Managing Pastures for Year-Long Forage Supplies.

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      Gabe Brown: “Soil Matters”

      Gabe Brown

      By   1 month ago

      Gabe Brown is known for the work he’s done improving his soils and his farm’s profitability. He quit tilling back in 1993, turning instead to no-till, cover crops, and crop rotation. Here he’ll show you what his soil looks like after 20 years of caring for his land this way. The result is soil that looks like […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Deep Straw Bedding for Happy Pigs and Happy Farmers

        Piglets on pack. Photo courtesy of USDA-ARS

        By   5 days ago

        The Swedes had it right: raise pigs so that the pigs are happy, and everyone wins. Here’s a look at how their switch to deep straw bedding for pigs created environmental benefits, and improved pig and human quality of life, and profitability.

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        How Animals Choose What to Eat

        Minolta DSC

        By   2 weeks ago

        Why are your animals eating what they eat? Why don’t they eat other things you think they’d like? Here are the answers and tips on how to use this information to your benefit.

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        Managing Grazing So Animals Make the Most of Their Time

        a.baa-Cow-mowing-the-lawn-haha

        By   3 weeks ago

        With everything they have to accomplish in a day, your stock is a lot busier than you think. Here’s what you need to do to make sure they make the most of their time grazing.

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        What Your Livestock Think About Your Pasture

        cows_1771266c

        By   4 weeks ago

        Your animals have a lot more to do than just walk around and eat. Understanding what they’re doing ensures tha tyou’re making it easy for them to harvest their own food with the least amount of effort so you get the best performance from them.

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        Moving to Mobile Milking Parlors

        With this version, a hydraulic lift raises cows so that milking is more ergonomically friendly for the milkers.

        By   4 weeks ago

        There are plenty of reasons not to have a mobile milking parlor, especially if you just lived through winter in the northeast. Open air milking is for the birds when it’s -20 out. But what if it made sense? Because you live in a more temperate climate, or you’ve gone seasonal, or you’ve got a […]

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        The Predator in Your Pasture

        2e4db893e472f57bdb27cc6ad8d972db

        By   1 month ago

        Understanding the primary predators and prey in your pastures is the first step toward managing for everyone’s benefit.

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        Cow Taxis – Take Advantage of Urban Pastures to Expand Your Operation

        Cow Taxi

        By   1 month ago

        Are you raising livestock near an urban area? Do you see all those empty lots and abandoned pastures as possible forage? Here’s how one family farm created a Cow Taxi to take their herd to the food. While they’re dairy-based, there’s no reason that the concept couldn’t be adapted for other livestock.

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        Planning Egg Production Right

        Download this publication. Just click!

        By   1 month ago

        The full title of this new publication is “Scaling-up Egg Production: Management, Markets, Regulation and Finances.” As you can see, it’s got everything you need to get going on the right foot.

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          Money Matters View All →

          43% Better – The Economics of Getting Your Livestock to Eat Weeds

          MTCowEatsThistle

          By   5 days ago

          When I started teaching cows to eat weeds, I thought everyone would see what I saw:  an economical alternative for weed management.  If cows or other livestock eat weeds, you don’t have to spend money on herbicide or buy fuel for spray rigs or mowers.  You don’t have to rent goats (sorry goat producers).  And […]

          Read More →

          Are You Working for a Lunatic?

          lunatic

          By   2 weeks ago

          In one of my recent Pharo Cattle Company updates, I discussed our need to learn how to work smarter – NOT harder.   Farmers and ranchers, for the most part, are not afraid of hard work.   Unfortunately, most are not so good at working smarter.   They would rather do minimum labor type work than entrepreneurial and management […]

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          What Does It Cost to Run a Fence Charger?

          what_does_it_cost_to_run_a_fence_charger_13

          By   3 weeks ago

          Fence chargers only cost us pennies per day, folks tell us. Now here’s how you can figure how many pennies at your place.

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          Moving to Mobile Milking Parlors

          With this version, a hydraulic lift raises cows so that milking is more ergonomically friendly for the milkers.

          By   4 weeks ago

          There are plenty of reasons not to have a mobile milking parlor, especially if you just lived through winter in the northeast. Open air milking is for the birds when it’s -20 out. But what if it made sense? Because you live in a more temperate climate, or you’ve gone seasonal, or you’ve got a […]

          Read More →

          Is Contract Grazing in Your Future?

          Cattle on irrigated pasture.  Photo courtesy of Washington State University extension.

          By   1 month ago

          Businessman Nido Qubein said, “Change brings opportunity.”  With the volatility of conventional milk prices and the surging interest in local beef and organic grass-fed dairy products, change is in the air for farmers and ranchers working to keep local agriculture strong. And, even if you don’t own land or cattle, or milk the cows you can become […]

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          Planning Egg Production Right

          Download this publication. Just click!

          By   1 month ago

          The full title of this new publication is “Scaling-up Egg Production: Management, Markets, Regulation and Finances.” As you can see, it’s got everything you need to get going on the right foot.

          Read More →

          Grow More Chicken – Questions to Ask Before You Go For It

          Chicks

          By   2 months ago

          Diversity is a good thing, and chicken is delicious. Adding more chicken to your farm might be win win. Here’s a tool to figure out if that’s a good choice for you.

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          Pasture Rental Rates: Conditions That Affect Prices

          A perfect pasture may be in the eye of the beholder, or in the education of the livestock grazing it. These educated cows are happily putting on weight in a very weedy pasture because Kathy taught them how to eat weeds. You can learn about teaching your livestock to eat weeds by clicking here.

          By   2 months ago

          Here’s the final article in our series on how to figure Pasture Rental Rates.  If you’ve missed the first three, here they are: How Much Should You Pay to Lease Pasture? Pasture Rental Rates: Doing the Math Part 1 Pasture Rental and Use Rate: Animal Units and Profit Sharing All pasture is not created equal. Some […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Turkey Creek Ranch: Partnerships for Livestock, Wildlife, and Rare Plants

            Georgia and Gary Walker

            By   5 days ago

            Meet Gary and Georgia Walker of Turkey Creek Ranch, just outside Pueblo, Colorado, winners of the 2014 Leopold Conservation Award for Colorado. The ranch is 65,000 deeded acres manage for both wildlife and livestock. It is home to three, rare plants and herds of pronghorn antelope, deer, elk, and wild turkeys. Even the ranch itself is […]

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            When a Farmer is Charged With Animal Neglect, Who Will Stand With Him?

            West Wind Acres Supporters meeting at the courthouse.

            By   2 weeks ago

            I didn’t think this kind of thing happened anymore. I got the first phone call two weeks ago from a local reader of my blog.  She told me there was a pasture-based farmer like me in the next county over who was being brought up on misdemeanor charges for animal abuse. I thought it was […]

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            A Word About Sustainability

            The L Bar herd is unique in several ways. The cattle run on leased pastures in a harsh semi-desert environment in West Texas. Click to read more.

            By   3 weeks ago

            Sustainability is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. It is defined literally as “the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and hereby supporting long-term ecological balance”. This seems like an awfully good description of what cow-calf producers do every day. Sadly though, there are those […]

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            Maine Legislature Pays Tribute to Soils – Get Your State To Do the Same!

            Amy Jones of the Maine Association of Professional Soil Scientists, me (Natalie), and Joan Welsh, the sponsor of this resolution with our I heart soil stickers at the State House!

            By   4 weeks ago

            While Maine may have beat all the other states to the punch, there’s still time for YOUR state to get on the band wagon. Here’s what happened in Maine, and some tips on how you can make it happen in your state too.

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            How to Tie Your Shoes Better

            Tie Your Shoes better

            By   1 month ago

            As Terry Moore says, “Sometimes a small advantage in one place can yield tremendous results someplace else.” This is one example. We’d love to hear your examples too!

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            Love It or Hate It, Daylight Savings Is Probably Here to Stay

            It's morning! Time to Milk!

            By   1 month ago

            What respectable ag-based publication would fail to address the switch to daylight savings? Here are some of the myths about why we do it, some of the real reasons, and, if you really hate it what you might do to fix it.

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            Protecting Livestock From Predators

            Lions

            By   2 months ago

            Worried about predators? Wolves, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and bears can all cause problems for livestock producers. But what would you do if the problem was lions? Here’s how one young man solved the problem by looking at it from a different perspective.

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            Dreaming About the Smell of Rain

            rain-04

            By   2 months ago

            Petrichor is the word for the smell of rain. It happens because, basically, the earth is “fizzing.”

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              The Funnies View All →

              The Optimistic Pig

              Optimistic Pig 2

              By   5 days ago

              Lost in translation or just sunny side up?

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              How to Remember Your Password

              Passwords

              By   2 weeks ago

              Lately we’ve had some trouble remembering our passwords.  Here’s a possible solution….

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              The Collie Walk

              Collie Walk

              By   3 weeks ago

              Really, it’s a dance, so be sure your sound is on and you’ll hear the music. Enjoy! And for our tablet readers, the link. Want to see more dogs at work? Here’s a link to the Baa Studs and their LED-lit, night-time herding magic.

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              Why Do Pigs Snort?

              Savage Chickens

              By   4 weeks ago

              Think of this next time you see them snorting!

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              Birthday Cake Kills!

              Birthday Cake Kills

              By   1 month ago

              Since we’re celebrating On Pasture’s second birthday this month, we’ve been thinking a lot about cake. This short video puts a whole new light on it! Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!   While these eggs may not want to celebrate On Pasture’s birthday, we’re hoping you do. We can’t do this without […]

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              Swimming in the Streets

              FunnySwimmer

              By   1 month ago

              This professional swimmer swims the streets of the Philippines. Perhaps this gives you some ideas of what you can do this summer in stock tanks and water troughs? And remember, safety first! Tablet readers, here’s your link!

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              Spring is Around the Corner

              SpringMantra

              By   2 months ago

              For some it’s been a VERY long winter!

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              The Freshest Milk Possible

              Fresh Milk

              By   2 months ago

              Imagine what the dairy aisle might look like if grocery stores started providing milk in this kind of container!

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