The Scoop View All →

On Pasture, Like Your Pasture, Powered by the Sun!

Installing solar panels on Rachel's house!

By   7 days ago

Welcome to the first 100% solar-powered grazing magazine! Kathy lives in Arizona, where the sun shines 360 days a year and lots of people collect the sun for power. Her house came complete with solar panels on the roof. Rachel’s house just went solar this past week. With the installation and hook up, we are proud to […]

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Someone Broke Into My Truck The Other Night

Apparently I'm not in Fairyland either!

By   2 weeks ago

Sometimes I get side-tracked, like the other night when I was bringing in groceries from the truck. It happens when I have a lot on my mind and am trying to get a lot done. So when my husband came home from work about 30 minutes later, he found the passenger door open and the bag […]

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Do You See Me?

images

By   3 weeks ago

Members of the Natal tribes of South African greet one another by saying “Sawa bona”, which literally means: “I see you.” The response is “Sikhona” which means: “I am here”. The greeting is part of a cultural idea, that “a person is a person because of other people.” So, until you ‘see’ me, I do not exist, and when you ‘see’ […]

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Help! We Need Help.

Accept help small

By   4 weeks ago

Hey, do you know what time it is? Do you have a pen I can borrow? Can I borrow your hay wagon on Tuesday? Sometimes, people need help. Lots of times, people want to help. “Is there anything I can do?”  That is a question on our lips when people are sick, or hurting, or just […]

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What Are You Doing for Earth Day?

Screenshot 2015-04-15 15.45.01

By   1 month ago

You were probably so busy making the world a better place that you forgot Earth Day was this week. But we know what you’re doing to celebrate!

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Spring!

CactusBlooming

By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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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    Grazing Management View All →

    How to Manage Cattle to Reduce Leafy Spurge, Spotted Knapweed and Canada Thistle

    CanadaThistleEasiestToEat

    By   7 days ago

    This is the second in the series on managing grazing to get the forage you want.

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    Want to Get Rid of a Plant By Grazing It? Here’s What You Need to Think About

    These thistles are at the perfect stage for grazing. Notice how the grasses are mature.

    By   2 weeks ago

    Understanding how a plant grows through the grazing season is the key to figuring out when grazing it will make the most impact. The problem is that you have lots of different plants in your pasture, and so you also have to think about the ones that you’d like to have more of, and which […]

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    Is a Fault-Finding Fence Tester Worth the Money?

    Here's one example of a fault-finder.

    By   3 weeks ago

    Have you asked yourself “Should I get a  regular digital fence tester or the fault finding type? Is the fault finding ability a gimmick or is it worth the extra money?” The answer is yes, you should buy one, and if you do, here’s how to use it.

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    Inexpensive Electric Fencing Solutions – Courtesy of Nicaragua

    Here's the Electric Fence Outrigger the farmers and Wayne designed.

    By   4 weeks ago

    If you can’t buy fencing supplies, maybe you can make do with what’s laying around the farm. Maybe some of these solutions will get you to thinking about your own fencing supplies.

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    17 Mistakes to Avoid With Electric Fencing

    20125237884a8e4a687d3ffb97a71df3

    By   1 month ago

    Wayne wrote this article back in 1998, and even though some of the technology has changed, the mistakes we make haven’t. While this is geared toward high tensile fences, most of the tips will serve you just as well for your temporary, polywire fences.

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    Mob Grazing – Definition, Benefits, Drawbacks and Implementation

    Mob Grazing Video Series

    By   1 month 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 months 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 months 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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      Pasture Health View All →

      Assess Alfalfa, Winter Cereal and Grass Stands for Reseeding Decisions

      Post Winter Alfalfa pasture

      By   7 days ago

      The snow has now receded and soils are beginning to warm enough to green up most hay fields and pastures, and it’s time to make decisions about spring forage seedings. Some fields may have suffered extensive stand losses and will subsequently require reseeding or replacement. Losses are often variable and but are most extensive on […]

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      The Grass is Growing! And You Can Help!

      plant development (IA State Extension PM 1791)

      By   2 weeks ago

      Grass is growing. The grass is really growing! I get a little impatient sometimes waiting for spring to get here; then once it is here the speed of life goes into full throttle and the grass in the yard suddenly requires twice the normal attention. I’m not going to complain about the extra mowing, I’m […]

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      Right Sizing Your Operation

      Just like Goldilocks, you want to find just the right size to make you the most comfortable.

      By   3 weeks ago

      Farming or ranching is not a one size fits all job. Here are some thoughts about making sure you are right sizing your managmeent to fit your resources.

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      Italian Ryegrass as a Companion Crop and Cover Crop

      Top: Orchardgrass, red clover, and white clover growth 71 days after late-summer seeding. Seeding rates: 10, 8, 4 lb/acre respectively.
Bottom: Orchardgrass, red clover, white clover and italian ryegrass growth 71 days after late-summer seeding. Seeding rates 10, 8, 4, 6 lb/acre respectively.

      By   4 weeks ago

      Are you adding grass or legume seedings to your pastures? Here’s an idea for a companion crop that will help you get through the first, slow stages of pasture establishment.

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      Italian and Annual Ryegrasses in Cropping Systems

      Ryegrass

      By   1 month ago

      Let’s talk Italian Ryegrass. Why? It’s a great forage, and it has all kinds of uses in cropping and pastures. If you’re not already considering it, we hope this series will give you some food for thought.

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      Let’s Legalize Canada Thistle!

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

      By   1 month 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   1 month 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 →

      Phosphorus, Your Fields and Pastures, and Water Quality Protection

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

      By   2 months ago

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

      Read More →

        Livestock View All →

        Expose Animals to Poor-Quality Foods Early in Life for Life-Long Success

        In mid-summer, rangeland forage quality can drop. If animals have experience with poor quality forage, they are better able to deal with this situation.

        By   7 days ago

        In every animal’s life there will come a time when they need to survive on less than the best. If they’ve tried it out when they’re young, they’ll thrive anyway.

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        Need a Great Milking Parlor? Burn Down Your Old One!

        Rich and Carol outside their new milking facility. Photo courtesy of the Dairy Star.

        By   2 weeks ago

        No, we’re not serious. Do NOT burn down your barn. BUT, if you’re considering starting your own dairy, or you’re in the market for improving an old one, here are some great suggestions from someone whose barn DID burn down.

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        Avian Flu – Coming to a Hen House Near You?

        This map comes to us from a website called "Avian Flu Diary." It was current as of April 21, 2015.

        By   3 weeks ago

        While it’s not a human health concern, the current avian flu is hitting some areas hard. Here’s what’s happening, and what you can do to help your fellow farmers and ranchers to prevent the spread of this disease.

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        Animal Welfare Approved – What’s In It For Me?

        Print

        By   4 weeks ago

        A few weeks ago we ran an article by Shannon Hayes about the farmer in New York who is facing animal neglect charges. One of our commenters suggested third party verifications to deal with nuisance accusations saying, “Having third party verification under respected standards – which we as stewards have incorporated – not only protects responsible farmers, but helps in elevating the standards of care we as stewards seek for our land and livestock.” He suggested Animal Welfare Approved because of the great advice and guidance they gave him. With that, here’s more information for you.

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        Body Condition Scoring For Goats

        Goat Body Condition Score Picture

        By   1 month ago

        Every goat producer is trying for the “Goldilocks Goat,” the animal that is not too thin and not too fat, but just right. Here’s a video and a great fact sheet with pictures that will help you make that happen.

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        Deep Straw Bedding for Happy Pigs and Happy Farmers

        Piglets on pack. Photo courtesy of USDA-ARS

        By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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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          Money Matters View All →

          How Not to Fail in Business

          labor-land-wealth

          By   7 days ago

          It is a fact that 8 out of 10 of the small business start-ups fail within 5 years. Why do you suppose this is true? It could be bad luck, or bad planning, or the poor economy, or lack of finances or the weather, or any number of reasons that we could name. Let’s examine […]

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          Fast Fact: Seeking Farmers-Seeking Land Clearinghouse

          Meet-farmers

          By   2 weeks ago

          Here’s a resource you might like to have.

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          You Can’t Improve What You Don’t Analyze

          Screenshot 2015-04-28 16.24.48

          By   3 weeks ago

          Tracking your financial data is probably one of the best ways to find the strengths and weaknesses in your management. Here’s an example of what you can learn and how that might impact what you do on the ground.

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          Is a Fault-Finding Fence Tester Worth the Money?

          Here's one example of a fault-finder.

          By   3 weeks ago

          Have you asked yourself “Should I get a  regular digital fence tester or the fault finding type? Is the fault finding ability a gimmick or is it worth the extra money?” The answer is yes, you should buy one, and if you do, here’s how to use it.

          Read More →

          Should You Give Up Raising Beef for Grass-Based Dairying?

          grazing-dairy-heifer

          By   4 weeks ago

          In 2008 when Rich and Carol Radtke and their daughter Madison returned to the farm 3 years after his dad died, they did it with two conditions.  First, they would NOT live in a trailer.  Second, they would NOT run a dairy. But now, 7 years later, four of which they spent living in a trailer, they […]

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          Why is Everybody Looking for a Handout?

          Click to visit Shannon's Blog

          By   1 month ago

          Shannon Hayes got angry when her sister observed that “everybody is looking for a handout”…until she realized how many times she’d said it herself. We share this post from her blog because it helps us think about asking for help and why we sometimes don’t.

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          Make Money On Weed Management

          By   1 month ago

          This is where I tell them how much money they can make if they just have their livestock eat weeds. And then I give them the offer of getting their livestock going cheaply.

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

          MTCowEatsThistle

          By   1 month 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 →

            Consider This View All →

            Should We Let Pandas Go Extinct?

            Should we let pandas go extinct?

            By   7 days ago

            Saving the planet’s creatures from extinction is something we all strive for. But it turns out that it’s not such an easy thing to do. We like this video because it looks at what it takes to save a species and the costs involved. Are you a tablet reader?  Here’s your link.   Click to […]

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            Cows Gain More Weight on Steamed Veggies Than Raw Veggies!

            Tips_to_steam_vegetables

            By   2 weeks ago

            That was the conclusion of a study done in 1844 as reported in the “Book of the Farm”.  Today, many people would laugh at the idea of steaming potatoes, turnips and beans and seasoning it with salt in order to get a few more pounds of gain out of our animals, and I’m not recommending […]

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            Organic Dairy Farmer Training Program Accepting Applications

            Accepting applications

            By   3 weeks ago

            A first of its kind training program at Maine’s Wolfe’s Neck Farm is gearing up to help new and transitioning farmers get into the organic dairying business. They’re even waiving the tuition for the first 4 students!

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            Toilet Paper Controversy Ended by the Inventor

            over-under

            By   4 weeks ago

            Did you know that the Wikipedia discussion page for “Toilet Paper Orientation” is 2 times longer than that for the Iraq war? Obviously this is a pressing issue and we’re happy to provide you with answers!

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            Managed Cattle Grazing Can Save Trout

            Biologist Mark Hereford (don't you just love his last name?) with Lahontan cutthroat trout prior to being released upstream. Photo courtesy of USGS.

            By   1 month ago

            The Lahontan Basin is an exceptional landscape that spans three western states: California, Oregon, and Nevada. Part of the Great Basin, this semi-arid region is rich in fish and wildlife and provides outstanding fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation opportunities. The Basin’s only native trout, the Lahontan cutthroat, embodies all that is exceptional about this rugged […]

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

            Georgia and Gary Walker

            By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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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              The Funnies View All →

              Dairy Math

              Screenshot 2015-04-30 12.46.25

              By   7 days ago

              Fractions – they were always hard math to figure out….

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              Ninja Ewe

              Ninja Ewe

              By   2 weeks ago

              Do you think her black belt is made of wool?

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              It Was Just a Misunderstanding!

              5679118

              By   3 weeks ago

              Boy! Was my face red! And other parts of me too!

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              When Shepherds Have a Sense of Humor

              Poodle Sheep

              By   4 weeks ago

              Or maybe these folks just had extra time on their hands and not a lot of need for the wool?

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              The War On Farmers Markets

              farmers market War small

              By   1 month ago

              Well, maybe it’s not such dumb idea!

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              The Optimistic Pig

              Optimistic Pig 2

              By   1 month ago

              Lost in translation or just sunny side up?

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              How to Remember Your Password

              Passwords

              By   2 months 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   2 months 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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