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Help Answer These Questions From On Pasture Readers

By   6 days ago

One of the good things about the On Pasture community is since there are so many of you, there’s probably someone out there who has the same problem you have. Even better, they may have already found a solution! So this week, we’re celebrating our well-read, very smart Community by sharing some reader questions we’ve […]

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It’s National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!

By   2 weeks ago

Get out your camo and your excess zucchini and celebrate “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!” That’s what August 8 is, and I’m taking full advantage of it! To heck with May Day baskets. This is my new favorite holiday. You get to “Ring and Run” or “Ding Dong Ditch,” which is […]

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People Doing Good Work for You Are Facing Elimination

By   3 weeks ago

For almost 100 years, the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory has been helping ranchers be more effective and profitable. The Lab’s research has changed how we manage rangelands, starting with studies in the 1930s to figure out optimum stocking rates for cattle and sheep on rangelands. What they learned helped reduce soil loss […]

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The Lady on the Phone Said to Call On Pasture

By   4 weeks ago

Someone is telling people to contact On Pasture for everything they need to know about grazing and raising livestock.

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Principles Toward a Productive and Healthy West

By   1 month ago

This past week, On Pasture joined the Western Landowners Alliance, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, Family Farm Alliance, and Partners for Conservation, along with a host of businesses and organizations working across the West in signing a non-partisan statement of principles to guide lawmakers and communities in creating a healthy working lands and communities. We […]

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Your Most Important Tool? A Pencil!

By   1 month ago

My son thinks he is building a clubhouse. He doesn’t realize that he is a farmer in training. The sort of planning he is doing reminds me and Kathy of the sort of planning that farmers, or everyone, does. There’s a spot he’s got in mind for the clubhouse, under the canopy of trees, up a […]

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Summer Vacation Is the Best!

By   2 months ago

Your On Pasture editors are on vacation this week. Rachel is off to the beach and Kathy is getting out of the Tucson heat and visiting friends and family in Colorado. But we haven’t left you in the lurch. All of this week’s articles come from the On Pasture Special Collections. That’s the new menu […]

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Dingo: 1, Danged Groundhog: 0

By   2 months ago

Saturday afternoon, our dog caught a groundhog. This was, in our way of thinking, very good news. The bugger had already gnawed on spring pea vines peeking through the garden fence, and we aren’t big fans of ground hogs. The other part of the good news is that Dingo seems to be showing his age, and […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Greg Judy Talks Fencing, Leasing, Cow-Size and More

    By   6 days ago

    What are the best reels, fence posts and wire you can use for your temporary fences? What are some rates you might offer for leasing a farm/pasture? What size cows winter well on pasture? How do you set up your watering system? What are your secrets to success? These are just a few of the […]

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    Dairy Cows Head to Pasture for the First Time on Providence Farm

    By   2 weeks ago

    Vermont’s Providence Dairy is transitioning from a tie-stall barn to pasture-based dairying. Here are some of the challenges the Connors faced this first spring and how they’ve solved them.

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    Paddock Design and Stockmanship – Part 2: The Case for Middle of the Run Gates

    By   3 weeks ago

    Changing infrastructure, and changing our minds about how we move cattle is key to middle-of-the-run gates. Here’s how it works, and why you’ll find it easier.

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    Planning For, and Managing Through Drought

    By   3 weeks ago

    Some readers are in the middle of a severe drought, and it comes for all of us at some point. Having a plan for how to respond and manage through it can help you survive, and even thrive.

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    Paddock Design and Stockmanship – Part 1

    By   4 weeks ago

    Here are some thoughts on paddock and gate set up that consider animal behavior and how we work with our livestock. Hint – those gates don’t belong in the corner.

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    Science Says Post-Fire Grazing on Rangelands Is Not Harmful

    By   4 weeks ago

    Current federal regulations recommending that rangelands be rested from grazing for two seasons after fire are not supported by science. In fact, the research shows that healthy prairie ecosystems require grazing and fire. When tested on the ground, evidence shows that moderate post-fire grazing causes few impacts on northern mixed-grass prairie vegetation. That’s the conclusion […]

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    What Works for Wildlife Is Also Better for Montana Rancher and Her Livestock

    By   1 month ago

    Janet Endecott thought she was just being nice when she agreed to improve fish habitat on her ranch. It turns out the livestock loved the change too!

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    Rotational Grazing With Bison

    By   1 month ago

    These bison ranchers are succeeding thanks to assistance from the NRCS. See if this kind of assistance might work for you too.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Start Stockpiling Pasture for Fall and Winter Grazing

      By   6 days ago

      Tall fescue is great for stockpiling. Here’s how much you need to lengthen your grazing season, along with tips on managing grazing now to get the most out of your winter pastures.

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      Saving a Chicken Saves Cattle and Ranchers

      By   2 weeks ago

      What do cattle and lesser prairie-chickens have in common? They both love grasslands. But grasslands are in trouble. Thanks to decades of fire suppression, redcedars, shinnery oak and mesquite are progressing steadily across the prairie. Open grasslands can become closed-canopy forests in as little as 40 years. And that’s a big problem for the bird, […]

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      Forage Quality on Rangelands is Dropping

      By   3 weeks ago

      Declining forage quality is costing ranchers almost $2 billion a year, and there’s no sign of the downward trend changing.

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      Science Says Post-Fire Grazing on Rangelands Is Not Harmful

      By   4 weeks ago

      Current federal regulations recommending that rangelands be rested from grazing for two seasons after fire are not supported by science. In fact, the research shows that healthy prairie ecosystems require grazing and fire. When tested on the ground, evidence shows that moderate post-fire grazing causes few impacts on northern mixed-grass prairie vegetation. That’s the conclusion […]

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      Soil Health – We All Love It, But What Is It Worth?

      By   1 month ago

      Soil health gets a lot of air time. But have you ever thought about what it’s actually worth in dollars? That’s the question Tom Buman of Agren decided to answer. What he learned is that we can put a dollar value on healthy soil as well as the cost of erosion. Tom worked with a […]

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      Grazing Height Determines the Health of Your Forages

      By   1 month ago

      As livestock producers, you know very well how forages will impact the growth or productivity of your animals. However, we very seldom think of how our livestock will impact the growth and productivity of our forages. Understanding the impact that grazing or cutting will have on the pasture is critical to achieving stand longevity, productivity, […]

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      Soil 101 – From Special Collections

      By   2 months ago

      If you click on “Special Collections” in the menu bar, you’ll find a list of things that folks often ask us about or that we all need the most help with. With a topic as complex as soil, it’s hard to cover all the bases. So this collection of articles is just the basics to […]

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      Solving Alfalfa “Windrow Disease”

      By   2 months ago

      Rained-on hay plagues all of us eventually. The ‘windrow disease’ that often follows presents lingering problems. Bruce Anderson, Nebraska Forage Extension Specialist has these words of wisdom for preventing it.

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        Livestock View All →

        How to Guide and Turn Cattle When Driving Them

        By   6 days ago

        Here’s another step in Whit Hibbard’s series on good stockmanship using techniques developed by Bud Williams. You can see all the parts in the series here. For this article, you’ll especially want to refresh your memory by looking at “The Moves You Need to Know for Low-Stress Livestock Handling,” “Low-Stress Livestock Handling Dance Steps,” and […]

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        Cow Poop Analyzer App Estimates Forage Quality

        By   2 weeks ago

        You can use your Smartphone and a pile of poop to figure out your forage quality! With the “Cow Poop Analyzer” app, you take a picture of a manure pile, and then compare your picture to file photos. Each file photo comes with an estimate for the crude protein and digestibility you can expect from […]

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        Dairy Cows Head to Pasture for the First Time on Providence Farm

        By   2 weeks ago

        Vermont’s Providence Dairy is transitioning from a tie-stall barn to pasture-based dairying. Here are some of the challenges the Connors faced this first spring and how they’ve solved them.

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        Skinny Cows Make Fatter Calves

        By   3 weeks ago

        Ground breaking research shows, the feeding recommendations we’ve used to ensure pregnancy are propping up inefficient cows AND skinnier cows make more resilient calves that gain better on pasture.

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        Dairy Cow Body Condition Scoring

        By   4 weeks ago

        Scoring can help identify health problems or her management issues. It’s as easy as standing behind your cow and comparing her to these photos.

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        Paddock Design and Stockmanship – Part 1

        By   4 weeks ago

        Here are some thoughts on paddock and gate set up that consider animal behavior and how we work with our livestock. Hint – those gates don’t belong in the corner.

        Read More →

        Rotational Grazing With Bison

        By   1 month ago

        These bison ranchers are succeeding thanks to assistance from the NRCS. See if this kind of assistance might work for you too.

        Read More →

        Can I wean 90-day-old calves that weigh 300 pounds?

        By   1 month ago

        The answer is yes. Dry weather has made this – and variations – the question of the day. In an ideal world, mother and calf should enjoy green pastures from birth until weaning at about 7 months of age. The typical weaning age is 192 days for producers in the Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          Why Do the Big Guys Win?

          By   6 days ago

          A recent Ranching For Profit School graduate sent me a link to MSN Careers.  It had a list of the top 10 “dead-end jobs.” Number one on the list was Farmers and Ranchers. The author concluded that large farms would get bigger and that smaller, independent family farms, that didn’t rely on off-farm income, might […]

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          How to Work Successfully With Non-Farming Landowners

          By   2 weeks ago

          A successful, long-term farm tenure arrangement between farmer and non-farming landowner depends on good communication, and can help you decide whether or not you, as the leasee can realistically meet the non-farming landowner’s goals and expectations, and whether or not the land can realistically meet your goals and expectations. Good communication can also be used […]

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          Planning For, and Managing Through Drought

          By   3 weeks ago

          Some readers are in the middle of a severe drought, and it comes for all of us at some point. Having a plan for how to respond and manage through it can help you survive, and even thrive.

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          The Progressing Farmer Goes to the Bank…and Another Bank…and Another…

          By   4 weeks ago

          Want to get a loan to buy your farm? Jenn Colby shares what happens in real life when you’re working with lenders.

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          You CAN Farm/Ranch for Profit

          By   1 month ago

          This past weekend I reviewed a DVD that I think every On Pasture reader should have. “The Three Secrets For Increasing Profit” is an introduction to principles from the Ranching for Profit School and features Dave Pratt of Ranch Management Consultants. I’m recommending it so highly because I think it helps On Pasture accomplish one […]

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          State by State Poultry Processing Laws

          By   1 month ago

          Tracking down what your state’s poultry processing laws can be frustrating. So we knew that you’d like to see this map and chart from the Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Just click on the map below and you’ll head over to their site. You can mouse-over your state to see what the processing limits […]

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          Farm and Ranch Leasing Tips

          By   2 months ago

          “Special Collections” is a new menu item we added recently. It’s where you can find collections of articles that readers ask for or search for over and over. Since folks want to know about leasing and how to do it, we’ve collected all the articles we’ve published so far on the topic in this Special […]

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          Growing Farmers With Internships and Apprenticeships – Part 2

          By   2 months ago

          Thanks to the CSA Solutions Hub for sharing this article by Alex. While it was originally written for CSA oriented farmers, the principles are just as true for all farmers and ranchers hoping to work with interns. If you didn’t see Part 1, here it is. Learning – Patience Is a Virtue We’re always struck […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Farming as a Second Career – Secrets From Folks Who Made the Switch

            By   6 days ago

            Thanks to Suzy Hodgson of UVM Extension’s New Farmer Project for this story! On average, people change careers three times in their lifetimes, and that’s not counting about ten different jobs across those careers. Whether through choice or circumstance, people are on the move to different employment opportunities, and it’s not surprising to find a number […]

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            Does Lack of Affordable Health Insurance Threaten Farm and Ranch Viability?

            By   2 weeks ago

            Worries about health care coverage prevent farmers and ranchers from working full time on their operations, and create barriers for young and beginning farmers and factor into farm succession issues, potentially denying young people access to land to farm. Those are the findings of a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded study says that lack of access […]

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            Haying With Wildlife in Mind

            By   3 weeks ago

            This comes to us from Jimmy Doyle, South Dakota State Natural Resource Management Field Specialist, and iGrow a service of South Dakota State University Extension. Anyone who has spent time cutting hay knows that hayland can be a magnet for wildlife in late spring and early summer. Hay fields are often considered an “ecological trap” for […]

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            Virtual Pasture Walk at the Flying Diamond Ranch

            By   4 weeks ago

            This week, let’s take a virtual Pasture Walk to the Flying Diamond Ranch in Kit Carson, Colorado. Even through drought and challenging economic times, this ranch is expanding, and making room for the next generation. It’s why the ranch was Colorado’s 2015 Leopold Conservation Award winner. The Flying Diamond Ranch has been home to the […]

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            The Grazier’s Vow

            By   1 month ago

            On Oct. 3, 2016 an article I wrote entitled Stupid Is As Stupid Does was published on the On Pasture web site. This was just a simple tale of one of the many mistakes that I have made in the cow business over the years. Hopefully I have learned from these mistakes and do not […]

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            15 Favorite Things – Or “How to Survive Farming With Your Spouse”

            By   1 month ago

            Sometimes knowing what’s on another person’s top 15 list is a good path to working and playing better together.

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            Will Temple Grandin’s Handling Facilities Work For You?

            By   2 months ago

            We think this series of articles from the Stockmanship Journal is especially important to our readers because it is the first time that anyone has tried to apply science to find out if the handling facilities as designed by Dr. Temple Grandin work well for farmers and ranchers. If you’re taking a break from the […]

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            Real Life as a Prescribed Goat Grazier

            By   2 months ago

            Here’s another example from a member of our On Pasture community describing some of the fun and the challenges of life working with livestock.

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              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              Solving Seasonal Electric Fence Problems

              By   6 days ago

              A season of managed grazing can be hard on your fences and changes in vegetation and soil moisture take their toll. Here are some suggestions for figuring out what’s wrong and fixing it.

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              Lease Agreements You and the Landowner Can Relate To

              By   2 weeks ago

              Farm lease agreements can be complex legal documents, but they don’t have to be.  Behind every legal provision there is a meaning, a purpose and a potential benefit to both parties of having such language in the lease.  I sometimes work through lease agreements with farmers or landowners, and witness their eyes glazing over when […]

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              Ideas to Reduce Winter Feeding and Increase Your Profit

              By   3 weeks ago

              Winter is still a few months away, but if you’re going to feed less this season you need to start planning NOW. For some ideas, check out this piece from August of 2016. Winter feeding accounts for 40+% of the cost of producing a calf, so reducing or eliminating this bad habit can help keep […]

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              From Big to Small to Big to Small – Our History of Cattle Breeding From 1742 to Today

              By   4 weeks ago

              How did we get to the cattle we have today? Where should we go from here? These are some of the questions Dr. Harlan Ritchie worked to provide answers to in his long and distinguished career at Michigan State University. In this series, we’ll share pictures and history that he put together. We hope it […]

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              Soil Health is a Deep Subject

              By   1 month ago

              Ray Weil, who literally wrote the book on soils says “Think deeper.” These short videos show why what’s going on below the top 12 inches matters to you.

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              Turning Soil-Poor Cropland Into Healthy, Profitable Pasture

              By   1 month ago

              We first shared this video from the Capital Resource Conservation District’s “Soil Health Project,” in July of 2015. In it, Russ Wilson talks about the challenges he faced when he bought a former crop farm that he wanted to use for multi-species grazing. With poor soil, he could barely grow feed for his livestock. But […]

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              Fourteen-Foot Long Roots – That’s What Great Grass Farmers Grow!

              By   2 months ago

              We shared this article the first time in November of 2015. What I think we all love about it is getting to see what’s going on underground with the plants that are growing in our pastures. Enjoy! If you go to enough workshops about grazing, you’re bound to see an illustration that shows how biting off the […]

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              A Calculator for Marginal Calf Weight Values

              By   2 months ago

              When you’re raising calves for sale, how do you know if you should feed that supplement, spend time and money on pasture improvements, or make other investments to increase weaning weights? Well, you do a little math. Here’s a calculator that can help!

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                The Funnies View All →

                How Many Problems Do You Have?

                By   6 days ago

                Anyone else have this problem?

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                Unbelievable Footage of Loch Ness Monster

                By   2 weeks ago

                We didn’t expect Nessie to be this color!

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                Ode to a Cow

                By   3 weeks ago

                Some self-help from the 1936 Old Farmer’s Almanac.

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                Marriage Advice From Kids

                By   4 weeks ago

                We wonder if these kids will take their own advice later on in life.

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                Accurate Food Labeling

                By   1 month ago

                These pictures are worth a thousand words – the ones you would have used!

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                Ask Me About My Moo Cow

                By   1 month ago

                Need this? Here are some options from Amazon. A percentage of sales goes to keeping On Pasture online. Got Goats? This one’s for you! 🙂

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                Tan Aspirations

                By   2 months ago

                Here’s something to shoot for!

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                Another Use for Mayonnaise

                By   2 months ago

                This kid’s going to need therapy!

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