The Scoop View All →

Excrement: Part of the Circle of Life

PowerBarJoke

By   4 days ago

I am old enough to remember a world before “Power Bars.” When they were first introduced, my co-workers at the Bureau of Land Management picked them up pretty quickly, using them as snacks that were easy to pack for the dignitaries we took on informational tours of the public lands we managed.  My good friend […]

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Turns Out, There’s Warmth in the Winter

Troy and Rachel at the VGFA Winter Conference

By   2 weeks ago

Winter Grazing Conferences are a great way to reconnect with friends and add to your grazing toolbox.

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Awards for the Good Work You Do

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By   3 weeks ago

Did you know that more than 3/4 of the land in the U.S. is in private ownership? And the things landowners do on that land affects us all, including our air, water, soils, wildlife and the food we eat. So every year, the Sand County Foundation celebrates landowners who have made life better for us […]

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Share, Care, Love, No Fighting, No Whining, Laugh!

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By   4 weeks ago

Welcome to the first issue of 2015! We’re happy to have you with us!

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Happy New Year!

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By   1 month ago

We learn so much from you, dear readers. Your experiences and questions compel us and drive us. We’re looking forward to learning more with you. Thank you for all your support, insight, encouragement, and wisdom. We are grateful for all that you share with us, and we reach out to wish you success and many moments […]

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Merry Christmahannukwanzadan and Happy New Year!

ChristmasAnimals2

By   1 month ago

No matter our holiday traditions, it’s fair to say that what they all have in common is celebrating our friends and families, giving and receiving, taking more time to be the generous loving people we are, and when we can, trying to find some time to reflect. And that’s exactly what your On Pasture editors […]

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Add Your Event to the On Pasture Calendar

Here's our new calendar with a few events shown for January.

By   2 months ago

Learning Opportunities….sometimes they’re the result of mistakes we’ve made, but sometimes we can actually plan for them. We’d like to help you create PLANNED learning opportunities.  So we’re setting out to put up a new and improved calendar of grazing events. That way you can pick out opportunities to learn new things to add to your […]

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Survey Says….What You’re Saying About On Pasture

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By   2 months ago

One reader says, “The only reason I look forward to Monday is that On Pasture comes out on Tuesday!”

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Cattle Can Improve Sagebrush Habitat With a Little Training

    Cattle grazing in grass and sagebrush pasture.

    By   4 days ago

    Many areas in the Western United States are dominated by sagebrush. The increase in sagebrush density over the past century is generally attributed to: 1) reduced numbers of mixed feeders and browsers such as deer, antelope, goats and sheep, 2) increased numbers of cattle and elk, 3) repeatedly grazing the same grasses and forbs, particularly […]

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    Winter Stockpile Grazing’s Final Chapter (Or Is It?)

    CLick to zoom!

    By   2 weeks ago

    Troy has finished with his stockpile grazing for this season. Here he shares how many days he made it, and talks about lessons learned and the questions he’s asking to help him prepare for next year.

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    Winter Stockpile Grazing Part 5 – The Weather Trumps Planning

    Staging Hay Bales

    By   3 weeks ago

    Editors Note: It takes a brave person to share his successes, challenges and stresses online with all of us. That’s what Troy has been doing this fall and winter as he writes about custom grazing dairy heifers on his stockpiled pastures. We’re grateful for Troy sharing his progress with all of us so that when we want to try […]

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    Grazing Winter Stockpile Part 4 – The Gory Details

    Heifer Grazing in snow

    By   4 weeks ago

    Rain, Mud, Frozen Forage, and Snow, OH MY! Here’s more on the realities of winter grazing.

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    Managing Multi-Species Grazing

    Illustration by Kathy Voth

    By   1 month ago

    Here’s a great overview of how to add different species of grazers to your operation.  Sandy covers the basics of forage, fencing, shelter, handling equipment, and water, with some great tips on inexpensive solutions, and making sure you don’t get in over your head.

    Enjoy!  And if you have some tips of your own, please do share in the comments section below!

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    Turning Sunshine Into $

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    By   1 month ago

    Some folks do this by selling vacations to the Caribbean or to Mexico to people who have had enough of winter. Others, like you, do it by turning sunshine into forage into beef. This is a great article to give you some insights into how the process of going from sunshine to forage works with a few tips on how you can use this info to boost the part where forage turns into beef.

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    Grazing Sequentially vs. Pasture Skipping

    Cows grazing on a paddock. To the left, previously grazed paddock; to the right, paddock to be grazed.

    By   2 months ago

    You can make better use of your forage by grazing it when it’s ready instead of going from pasture to pasture in a line.

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    Does Grazing Winter Stockpile Slow Spring Regrowth?

    Photo courtesy of Georgia Grazing Lands Conservation Coalition

    By   2 months ago

    It’s a good question and one that has come up as we follow Troy Bishopp through a fall and winter of custom grazing dairy heifers on stockpiled pasture. Fortunately, we’ve got answers!

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      Pasture Health View All →

      The Scoop on Poop – Recycling Nutrients Through Animal Manures

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      By   4 days ago

      As graziers, we all focus on good manure distribution as a way of keeping nutrients in our soils so we have better forage for our animals. We thought that knowing what the nutrient composition of animal manures might help us better understand what we’re accomplishing with our good manure management practices.

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      Should We Test Soils For Molybdenum, Cobalt, and Selenium?

      Unknown

      By   2 weeks ago

      From time to time I get questions from farmers asking how they can have their soil samples tested for molybdenum, cobalt, or selenium. Each of these elements, along with many others that aren’t tested routinely in soils, is important. In some cases, these nutrients are required by the plants, while in others they may be […]

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      What You Need to Know to Get the Best Regrowth After Grazing

      Screenshot 2014-11-24 13.58.47

      By   3 weeks ago

      As you read through this, you might think “DANG! This is really complex!” And you’re right it is! But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure it out. Think of it as one of those strategy games where you’re trying to maximize your points in the face of lots of variables. If you’re not good at those kinds of games, we bet you know someone who is. Just see it for the game it is, and go out and WIN!

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      Soil Carbon Cowboys

      CowsBehindElectricWire

      By   4 weeks ago

      Would you like a short visit to summer in the middle of winter? Would you like to meet soil ranchers Allen Williams, Gabe Brown and Neil Dennis? You can with this video.  Great for your next lunch break, here’s 12 minutes in summer pastures, filmed so vibrantly you’ll see grasshoppers jumping in slow motion and almost feel the […]

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      Overcoming Our Brush Prejudice

      Cow browsing on Coyote bush in Nicasio, California

      By   1 month ago

      Here’s a breakthrough  – Cows can do every bit as well on brush as goats.  Check out this article to see if maybe you can change your mind and start using brush as the great forage it can be.

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      NRCS Online Soil Information – A Great Resource for Farmers and Ranchers

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      By   1 month ago

      Knowing what we’re starting with under our forage is a great way to know what to add to it, what to plant, and how successful you can expect to be. So the NRCS built an online tool that will tell you all of that.  Here’s the link to it along with the instructions you need to make it easy to get started.

      P.S. Yeah, we all hate filling out surveys, but this isn’t one of those. The NRCS calls it a “Soil Survey” because they had to do a lot of surveying of all the soils in the United State to put together this information.  So don’t be afraid. Click on the link.

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      The Value of Leaving Some Forage in Pasture

      Orchardgrass and red clover

      By   2 months ago

      “Waste not, Want Not,” right?  It’s what we learned when we were kids, and we’ve probably used it to our advantage in lots of cases.  But when it comes to forage in pasture, we may want to look at this old adage in a different way.  If you take all your forage, because you don’t […]

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      Improve Your Pastures and Soils With Radishes

      Forage Radishes

      By   2 months ago

      When this video starts, you might say to yourself “Precision Cover Cropping?! I do pasture!” But don’t turn it off! What this video has to tell us about soil fertility from cover crops is something that we can use in pasture to great benefit! And in only a couple of minutes. Dr. Joel Gruver of […]

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        Livestock View All →

        The Cheapest Way to Produce the Best Egg

        Chicken Feed Cost Effectiveness

        By   4 days ago

        Here’s what the Arbuckles found out when they compared how different supplemental feeds affected the cost and nutrient density of their free range eggs.

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        Livestock Mortality Composting Manual

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        By   2 weeks ago

        Composting mortalities saves money, reduces environmental risks, and leaves you with a useful end-product. Here’s what you need to get started.

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        Baby It’s Cold Outside! Watch Out For Livestock

        Tough winter day in Western Iowa

        By   3 weeks ago

        Livestock animals can bear cold weather. But even if we want to extend the grazing season, keeping our animals outside as much as possible, there are some kinds of cold weather that we must pay very careful attention to.  When it comes to protecting our animals’ health and ensuring their productivity it is important to know a few […]

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        The Cow is Always Right

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        By   4 weeks ago

        Did you know that cows walk 2 mph compared to a human’s 3 to 4 mph? That’s just one of the ways things begin to go wrong when we’re trying to move them in pasture or in dairy barns. Here are ways that Dr. Don Höglund suggests we can work better together.

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        The Right Cow Makes You Money

        CoffeeShopCowboys

        By   1 month ago

        In this piece, which is also a chapter from his book “How Did We Get It So Wrong?”, Chip Hines talks about how working with nature can be easier and more profitable.  In fact, maybe the hardest thing is the abuse you might get from your buddies at the coffee shop.

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        The Best Cattle Handling Facilities May Not Be Those Designed by Temple Grandin

        LargeOperaterRetrofit

        By   1 month ago

        This ground-breaking series of articles came to us in May of 2014 from The Stockmanship Journal and authors Whit Hibbard and Dr. Lynn Locatelli.   After reading it, one of our On Pasture readers wrote to say “We renovated our livestock holding area with the Bud Box after your great series of discussions. THANK YOU … […]

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        What Do I Do If I Don’t Have Enough Winter Feed For My Livestock?

        Photo courtesy of Missouri Extension

        By   2 months ago

        Balancing market price, potential future demand, and the cost of feeding more mouths than you have feed for may lead to thinking about culling. Here are some thoughts to help you in making those kinds of decisions.

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        Breeding a Cow Herd to Fit Your Place

        South Poll cross calf

        By   2 months ago

        You may not choose the same breed as Steve, but the process he used to create a cow herd for his place can be adapted to fit any operation, or species.

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          Money Matters View All →

          A Full Bladder May Help You Save Money

          Really?! A picture showing water to a person who wants to visit the restroom? What torture!

          By   4 days ago

          This revelation comes to us from Mirjam A. Tuk, Debra Trampe and Luk Warlop, faculty in the Department of Marketing and Organization Studies at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. They noticed the difficulty we all have when it comes to choosing between an immediate reward, like going out to dinner, and a longer term reward, like not going […]

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          Selling Cattle With Video and Satellite

          Here's an example of a group of calves ready for auction.

          By   2 weeks ago

          If you’re considering video auctions to sell your calves, here are some tips and things to think about.

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          Support Local Farms? Then Never Do What This Guy Did

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          By   3 weeks ago

          Forrest shares a Yelp review he found online along with suggestions about how local farm supporters might think before they type.

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          Great Grazing Hacks

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          By   4 weeks ago

          Solutions for moving your mineral tubs (while spreading manure), and creating a fence for your water gap, as well as a stand for your solar charger.

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          Diversifying Helps Multiple Generations Make a Living On the Land

          Adam and Sarah and their families.  Photo from WWF video.

          By   1 month ago

          This is an example of how a ranch expanded what it does so that the kids could stay and raise their families while making a good living. It might give you some ideas about new ways to look at your own operation.

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          Portable Panels for Inexpensive Livestock Handling

          swingchute1

          By   1 month ago

          Sandy Miller is one of the most forward thinking people I know.  She’s always coming up with ways to do things better, more easily, and to benefit everyone in her community.  Here, she shares her farm hack for using portable panels to create inexpensive handling facilities for her livestock.

          We bet you have some pretty good farm hacks as well.  How about sharing them with your fellow On Pasture readers in the comments section below?

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          Managing Culling To Improve Profit

          South poll cow adapted to our environment with her calf.

          By   2 months ago

          A little adjustment to breeding timing and to what we call animals when we sell them, can put more money in our pockets.

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          Handle Your Meat With Care

          Believe it or not, beef marrow bones are one of our biggest sellers on the farm. Ironically, we have a hard time keeping them in ‘stock’.

          By   2 months ago

          Here’s an important Public Service Announcement from Heritage Hollow Farms about how to take care of your packaged, frozen meat so that it doesn’t get freezer burn.  Share the instructions with your customers so that the meat they buy from you is the same high quality coming out of their freezer that it was when […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Why Whale Poo is Important to You

            Whale Poo

            By   4 days ago

            While we’re busy making using our livestock to fertilize our pasture, we never stopped to think about how manure is distributed in the oceans, and how important that might be to our own health. Here’s a video that explains it.

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            Pelster Angus Ranch: Conservation in the Sand Hills of Nebraska

            Pelster Angus Ranch

            By   2 weeks ago

            The Sand County Foundation gave the Leopold Conservation Award to the Pelsters in recognition of how their efforts at rotational grazing have improved the land and water. We’re sharing this video for the inspiration and the fun of visiting a beautiful ranch.

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            A Visit to Rock Hills Ranch

            Lyle Perman Rock Hills Ranch

            By   3 weeks ago

            Aldo Leopold said, “The landscape of any farm is an owner’s portrait of himself.” In this video, you’ll see a family learning and managing together to leave a portrait that they hope will serve as an example to others.

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            Celebrate Soils From Dung Beetles to Blueberry Pancakes: Now With Stickers!

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            By   4 weeks ago

            That’s just a fancy way of saying, “Let’s tell everyone how important soils are.” The Soil Science Society of America is handing out free stickers, and we’re adding our bumper stickers as the first of many ways to celebrate the International Year of Soil. Together we can build a world map with pictures of folks loving their soils.

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            What’s the Dumbest Farm Animal?

            Animal-4SQ

            By   1 month ago

            At last, the answer to the question that we’ve all been asked and we’ve all considered from time to time.  Thank you Forrest!  I know we’re all going to use your tips to help smarten up that dumb animal too!

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            Intelligent Groups Make Innovations Easier

            Trying new things is easier when you've got like-minded individuals backing you.  Then, who cares if the coffee shop crowd laughs at you because you're trying out a new herding technique?!

            By   1 month ago

            A friend of Kathy’s once told her “You become like the people you spend the most time with. So think about who you want to be, and choose people that are like that.” It works for all kinds of things, including being innovative and forward thinking, as Chip Hines explains in this article. You can use his tips to set up your own “Innovation Support Group.”

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            The Dead Toad Frog

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            By   2 months ago

            The yellow jackets were the target. The rest was collateral damage. It’s something to consider when deciding what to do about a problem.

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            Stress Can’t Kill You Unless You Believe It Can

            Stress and Cardiovascular Health

            By   2 months ago

            We want all our On Pasture readers to live long and prosper, so we’re sharing this life-saving advice from a health psychologist.  In this short TED video, Kelly McGonigal shares some of the science behind stress and why we thought it could kill us.  Then she shares new research that shows if you understand that the […]

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              The Funnies View All →

              The Incredible Case of the Shrinking Toilet Paper

              Go ahead! Click to read!

              By   4 days ago

              We’re on a roll.  Given that this week is all about poo, we need to wrap it all up with toilet paper. Trouble is, it keeps getting smaller. Check out this “expoosé” from the Washington Post.

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              Police Dance to the Radio in Their Cars Too

              Dover Police Officer Seat Dancing

              By   2 weeks ago

              The Dover, Delaware Police Department decided to let us know that their officers are just like us. They have a Facebook page and last week posted this: “While reviewing dash cam footage, we come across some interesting sights to say the least. We decided we would share some with you in a new web series […]

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              Why We Don’t Diaper Free Range Poultry

              Chickens wearing diapers

              By   3 weeks ago

              Reason 1) Their manure fertilizes the pasture. Reason 2) This video: For our tablet readers, the link. But seriously, if you’ve got a kid that just insists on bringing a chicken inside, maybe you need a chicken diaper. Here’s the website to check out.

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              Why Don’t We Drink Pig Milk?

              120720_MEDEX_PigMilk.gif.CROP.original-original

              By   4 weeks ago

              And why don’t we eat pork milk cheese, yogurt or butter?  Here’s the question AND the answer.   Want to read more fun letters from Guy Petzall? Here you go!

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              Fun and Funny Ways to Celebrate on New Year’s Eve

              YellowUnderwear

              By   1 month ago

              Here’s New Year’s Eve around the world. Perhaps it will affect the color of the underwear you choose to wear this year, or maybe you’ll choose to talk to your animals to ensure a prosperous 2015. (Click to see it full size and save your eyes.)

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              Snowmen Beware!

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              By   2 months ago

              If you’re building snowmen in your yard this season, consider having extra carrots on hand. You never know what might happen!

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              Pasture Snow Angels

              pig

              By   2 months ago

              Have you checked out what your livestock are doing for fun in the pasture?  

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