The Scoop View All →

King’s and Queens Join On Pasture!

WeAteLikeQueens

By   6 days ago

We want to give a shout out to two of our newest On Pasture sponsors: King’s Agriseeds and Black Queen Angus Farm. King’s Agriseeds specializes in high energy forages and soil building cover crops. Their dealer network runs from Georgia to Maine and is supported by agronomists and livestock professionals.  Genevieve Slocum, who works for […]

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Fool Me Once – But Not Twice!

ScienceLiteracy

By   2 weeks ago

Protecting our community from unproven practices is one of the reasons we write each week because we know how it feels when you find out you’ve been bamboozled.

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Halt! Who Goes There?

Halt! Who goes there?

By   3 weeks ago

Anyone can read On Pasture for free. And we can see from our website stats that there are tens of thousands of readers dropping by each month and you’re one of them. That’s great! What would be even GREATER, is if you would share just a little bit of information about yourselves.  Why? Because Sponsors. […]

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You Can Always Go Home Again

Screenshot 2016-01-18 14.05.07

By   4 weeks ago

This weekend, I took the kids down to Maryland to visit with their cousins and my parents. Mr. On Pasture stayed home, working on house projects, bless his heart. We only had time for a short visit, but it had been too long since we had all been together. The youngest of the cousins is […]

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Don’t Let Your Brain Go Dormant!

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By   1 month ago

There’s a lot going on during the winter, even in cold climates.  Instead of just going dormant, we look at winter as a time to gather and learn from each other. There are amazing opportunities to attend conferences and workshops in the new year. Here are a couple for you to consider that are organized […]

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What’s Next?

WhoAreYouSurveyClick

By   1 month ago

Resolutions – this is the time of year when everybody talks about them, lots of people make them, and some people even go on to successfully complete them. Since we’re science geeks, we’ll try to make it a little easier for you by letting you know that research says you only have so much “will […]

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We’re On Vacation. What WILL You Read?!

vintage-new-year-cards-farm-scene-with-sheep-and-snow

By   2 months ago

We’re taking our annual end-of-the-year break to spend some time with our families. So we’re not publishing new articles this week.  But never fear, we will be back on January 5, 2016 with some new, really great articles for you.  We’re really looking forward to all the information we have to share with you in […]

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Thank You For A Really Great Year!

OnPastureShippingDepartment

By   2 months ago

Here’s Rachel in her office, which is currently the On Pasture Mailing Department. (Kathy added the elf hat after the fact because it’s that time of year. :-)) We wouldn’t have a Mailing Department except for all of you. You sent in support to keep On Pasture online, and now we’re in the process of […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    High Density Grazing for Spotted Knapweed Suppression

    kw01

    By   6 days ago

    Spraying herbicides wasn’t doing the job of reducing spotted knapweed and was just reducing legumes and other forbs in pasture. So Jim decided to work with his cattle to take care of the problem and create healthier pastures. The results were tremendous!

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    Tips For A Drought-Ready Grazing Playbook

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    By   2 weeks ago

    Even if you’re not a football fan, you’ve probably heard that the Super Bowl is coming. Just like teams write playbooks to boost their chances of success, we can build a grazing playbook to help us deal successfully with the things that Mother Nature throws at us.

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    How to Manage Pastures When Winter Isn’t Wintry

    dsc_0088

    By   3 weeks ago

    It’s been a pretty mild winter for most of the U.S. and Canada. With that in mind, here are two perspectives on what’s up with your pastures, and the management implications.

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    How Do You Know When It’s Time to Move the Cows?

    TimetoMoveGutfill

    By   4 weeks ago

    Editors’ Note: This is part 3 of a series on Jay and Krista Reiser’s pilot project to use mob grazing on a larger landscape in North Dakota.  Here are links to the other two articles in the series: Mob Grazing on 2700 Acres in North Dakota Setting Up Fencing and Water for Mob Grazing on […]

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    How Long Does It Take to Feed 400 Cows in the Winter?

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    By   1 month ago

    Using a well designed grazing cell & the right portable fence tools, I can generally feed the herd in about 25-30 minutes even with the ground frozen. No expensive machinery, No diesel fuel, No engines to start. Here I am with 400-some cows looking for breakfast on a beautiful crisp winter morning in the Pahsimeroi. […]

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    Setting Up Fencing and Water for Mob Grazing on 2700 Acres

    Reiser Ranch Grazing Map

    By   1 month ago

    These folks used their ingenuity to develop ways to mob graze on their 2700 acre ranch. Whatever the size of your operation, the approach this couple takes to saving money and improving their soil and forage will give you some good ideas for your own operation.

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    The Beauty of a Day On Pasture

    From Sunrise to Sunset it's all about the animals, the land, and the families and friends they support.

    By   2 months ago

    Have you ever found yourself trying to explain to someone what you do and why? Have you searched for the words to describe the beauty of the sun rising over your farm or ranch, and how it feels to move the cows from pasture to pasture? It’s hard to translate the pictures in your mind […]

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    Better Maps Mean Better Rangeland Management

    Final ecological-state map designations with an example of coding. The three-number code within an ecological-state area means that there is more than one ecological state within that area. Each number represents one ecological state, and the numbers are listed in order of the extent of the ecological state within that area. For instance, “Gravelly 540” means that the area is characterized by a gravelly ecological state, 5 means that much of the site is covered with expanded shrublands/woodlands, 4 means that some of the site is shrub-dominated, and 0 indicates that this site does not have a third ecological state category.

    By   2 months ago

    How badly are western rangelands doing? ARS researchers developed tools that would let them figure out what could or should be growing out there and found out things may be better than many thought. The bonus is that these tools can help us figure out how to spend limited time and funds on improvements.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      The Best Advice for a Small Grain Forage Stand After a Balmy Start to Winter? Leave it Alone

      Damage from overgrazing frosted oats - Jan 2016 Georgia

      By   6 days ago

      Did your small grain forages get away from you during the fall? It’s been a common problem this winter. Snow mold from overgrown winter annual forage is certainly a risk, but we still don’t recommend cutting or grazing in the middle of winter. You probably did your best with the information at hand. Much of […]

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      High Density Grazing for Spotted Knapweed Suppression

      kw01

      By   6 days ago

      Spraying herbicides wasn’t doing the job of reducing spotted knapweed and was just reducing legumes and other forbs in pasture. So Jim decided to work with his cattle to take care of the problem and create healthier pastures. The results were tremendous!

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      Does Compost Tea Improve Pasture? Part 2

      composttea

      By   2 weeks ago

      After a thorough investigation, these farmers aren’t sold on using compost tea for pasture improvement.

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      Does Compost Tea Improve Pasture?

      There are lots of different ways to make compost tea. Here's one. Other methods use aerators as well.

      By   3 weeks ago

      You may have heard of compost tea and theories that it can be used to improve pastures. With little research done on its benefits, one group of Indiana farmers decided to do their own tests to see if this treatment was as good as its claims.

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      Protecting Your Forage During and After Drought

      Short Range looking across

      By   4 weeks ago

      Editors’ Note: This article is the first in a series  about managing through and after drought. This one is all about the importance of pasture walks to set yourself up for making the best grazing management decisions by paying attention to the right things, and then thinking about them as you plan. While your vegetation […]

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      Crabgrass is Good Forage

      Beef Cattle grazing Mojo Crabgrass in North Carolina

      By   1 month ago

      Improved forage crabgrass varieties are not weeds, but high-quality, high-producing forages that fit well from the Mid-Atlantic region through the Southeast. With good fertility and moisture conditions, crabgrass forage can yield 3-5 tons of dry matter. As a low-growing summer annual crop, crabgrass maintains quality over the course of its rapid growth – unlike many […]

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      Living With Endophyte Infected Tall Fescue

      DSCN0147

      By   1 month ago

      Here’s a coordinated approach to turn your fescue “scourge” into cost-effective, productive pastures.

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      Got Cactus? Cut Your Winter Feed Bill In Half!

      622x350

      By   1 month ago

      Too much cactus doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s a nutritious forage, and prepared correctly, your cows can eat it, helping you get pastures back into shape and a step closer to healthier livestock. With a big El Niño, this year could be perfect for getting started.

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        Livestock View All →

        “Working” Animals Makes Your Job Easier

        Whit works cattle in BudBox.  Photo courtesy of Cattlexpressions

        By   6 days ago

        There’s “Working Horses” and “Working Dogs” and they all got good at their jobs because of the training or “work” that we did with them. Well, “working” with your cattle or other herdable stock can get you the same great results.

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        Good Stockmen Understand What an Animal is “Saying”

        Following a Cow

        By   2 weeks ago

        “Reading” what an animal is saying with it’s movements is the best way to know how to tell it what you’d like it to do next. These examples will help you “talk” to your animals.

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        New Vaccine May Control Cattle Ticks

        Female cattle ticks ready to lay eggs.

        By   3 weeks ago

        This story comes to us from the USDA Agriculture Research Service’s AgResearch Magazine by ARS’s Sandra Avant. The economic impact of cattle fever ticks, including the southern cattle fever tick, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, was so severe in the late 1800s that the U.S. Department of Agriculture started an eradication program in the early 1900s to […]

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        Teaching Cows to Eat Weeds – A Farmer’s Perspective

        Calf checking out the training tub.

        By   4 weeks ago

        Editors’ Note: Don and Betty Ashford of Ethel, Louisiana shared their experience teaching cows to eat weeds as part of Kathy Voth’s presentation at December’s National Conference on Grazing Lands. For those of your who couldn’t be there, here’s a little bit more about how it worked for them. This project involved 12 grown cows, […]

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        Some Thoughts On Keeping Chickens

        chicken house chism heritage farm

        By   1 month ago

        I don’t claim to know all there is about keeping birds. Heck, I don’t claim to know anything at all. This is a post about what I think I know about chickens…and I have given this topic some thought. Egg Eating All chickens eat eggs happily. All chickens. Just break an egg open in front […]

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        Stroke Your Calves For Better Weight Gain

        Photo by Marc Decker

        By   1 month ago

        Better weight gain for calves, more milk from cows with just 42 minutes spread over 2 weeks. Plus a “how-to” video.

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        Feeding Cattle Popcorn

        Farmer Derek Klingenberg

        By   2 months ago

        What should you do for your livestock for the Holiday Season? Farmer Derek Klingenberg is known for serenading his cattle with his trombone, and they come from all over the pasture to hear him.  Here he slides out a Christmas carol, and then, when they’ve all assembled he gives them a real surprise: a popcorn […]

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        Glow-in-the-Dark Chickens Fight Flu

        Via Norris Russell of The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. A genetically engineered chick stands next to a conventional chick.

        By   2 months ago

        In a typical year 500 million people will get the flu and more than 500,000 will die from the virus. During pandemics, the loss of life can be even more devastating. For example, the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed from 40 to 50 million people causing global political, social and economic problems. So it’s no […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          What is Your Plan B?

          Plan B

          By   6 days ago

          All of us try to have some kind of plan that will make some sense of what we are doing. There are discussions of paddock size, stocking rates and density and all of the rest of it. But in the event that all of it, for whatever the reason, goes bad, what is our Plan […]

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          Time is Not Always Money

          WorkplaceSafetySign

          By   2 weeks ago

          You know that old saying “A stitch in time saves nine”? Taking your time to prep before you work, might save you from having to get stitches or recuperate from some other injury. New On Pasture contributor Doug Ferguson shares tips that have saved him!

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          Good Animal Handlers Have the Right Attitude

          We're working our way up the pyramid of skills you need to become a good low-stress livestock handler. With mindset and attitude you're starting with a strong foundation.

          By   3 weeks ago

          Have you noticed that we’re running this Low-Stress Livestock Handling series under “Money Matters?” That’s because we know that better animal handling saves time and money and makes animals more productive. It also improves the quality of life for us and everyone around us when we’re working your stock. We hope that by running this series through the winter, when the grazing season starts up again, we’ll be able to practice in pasture what we’ve learned in print.

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          Low-Stress Livestock Handling – It’s All In Your Head

          We're working our way up the pyramid of skills you need to become a good low-stress livestock handler. With mindset and attitude you're starting with a strong foundation.

          By   4 weeks ago

          The right mind-set can really improve your chances of becoming a good livestock handler. It starts with thinking about livestock in a new way.

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          The Case for Low-Stress Livestock Handling

          Contented Cow

          By   1 month ago

          In my first article, I introduced stockmanship as an under-appreciated and under-utilized component of operating sustainable livestock operations, and argued that its one essential component is low-stress livestock handling (LSLH). We need to ask why? Why is LSLH something that stockmen should take seriously? What evidence is there to persuade us that it is worth […]

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          Frugal Innovations

          UsesForBalingTwineFeatured

          By   1 month ago

          Frugal innovating is the art of using human ingenuity to create solutions from the resources at hand. Farmers and ranchers are usually born frugal innovators, but we could all use a little inspiration to improve those skills. Here you go!

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          Clearing Your Plate for the New Year

          Bills Tractor

          By   2 months ago

          It’s that time of year when we think about what’s been going well, and give thanks for that, and then what we could do to make the new year even better. These are some good tips that we could all benefit from.

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          What Next? Planning Out the Succession

          Here are questions you can ask when interviewing potential advisors.

          By   2 months ago

          You know you should do this, and you just don’t want to because, well, talking to family about these kinds of things can be sensitive and difficult. That’s why we’re sharing these tools from the Farm Journal Legacy project with you – to make it doable and maybe even pleasant.

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            Consider This View All →

            Try It Before You Buy It – Is That New Practice Worth the Investment?

            Farmer and Rancher Scientists

            By   6 days ago

            Here’s how to do a little reading, or a small pilot project to find out if you should spend your money.

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            Two Soil Improvement Practices – Should You Spend Your Money?

            Shouldwekeepmoneyinourpockets

            By   2 weeks ago

            Asking the right questions can save you time and money. Here we demonstrate how we asked questions about Keyline Plowing and Soil Balancing to decide if those practices work for farmers and ranchers.

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            Knowing When to Keep Your Money in Your Pocket

            Snake Oil Label

            By   3 weeks ago

            We’re devoted to checking the science to find out if practices will help you. Here are the questions we ask demonstrated with an example of bamboozlement.

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            USDA Revokes Grassfed Label Standard – NOT!

            NSAC Scary Headline

            By   4 weeks ago

            Sometimes headlines are misleading as they were when we were told last week that Grassfed labeling was being revoked in the U.S. Here’s what’s really going on.

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            Beginning Farming at the Dixon Place

            3802-thumb-lg-500x413

            By   1 month ago

            Sometimes farming doesn’t make sense from the outside. But if it makes sense from the inside, that might just be what counts.

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            Got Cactus? Cut Your Winter Feed Bill In Half!

            622x350

            By   1 month ago

            Too much cactus doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s a nutritious forage, and prepared correctly, your cows can eat it, helping you get pastures back into shape and a step closer to healthier livestock. With a big El Niño, this year could be perfect for getting started.

            Read More →

            Prairie Sunrise Is A Gift

            Cover

            By   2 months ago

            Finding a treasure can make you want to share it. That would be this book. Prairie Sunrise tells the story of life on a Montana ranch through the eyes of six-year-old Zora Rose. Zora lives on a ranch in Montana with her family, Her story is described so simply and beautifully, it either reminds you […]

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            Does 4-H Matter Now More Than Ever?

            pledgeClover2

            By   2 months ago

            A few years back, a friend from Washington D.C. visited my farm for the first time. Right off the bat, he noticed the bumper sticker on my pickup truck, a green four-leaf clover emblazoned with large, white H’s. “Forrest,” he said, without the slightest trace of humor, “you never told me you were Irish!” Suffice […]

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              The Funnies View All →

              Valentine Tips From a Romantic Bull

              ValentineSmall

              By   6 days ago

              Valentine’s Day is this coming Sunday. If you’re the crafty sort, you could make this for your own Valentine.

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              Don’t Tell Dogs Knock Knock Jokes!

              KnockKnockDoor

              By   2 weeks ago

              Or if you do, just be prepared….  

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              Surfing – With Goats, Pigs!

              goatSurf4_2124642i

              By   3 weeks ago

              This time of year, we all might be thinking of surf and warm beaches. Our livestock might be also. We’re guessing they are thinking of surfing, just like Pismo, the surfing goat, and Kama, the surfing pig! Let’s go catch some waves!! Pismo the Surfing Goat And the link for tablet readers. Kama the vegan […]

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              Great Uses for Duct Tape

              Duct Tape Cartop Carrier

              By   4 weeks ago

              People are very innovative, and cheap! Maybe you’ll be able to adapt these ideas for your place.  

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              Great Poultry Marketing

              DuckDuckGoose

              By   1 month ago

              Do you think this meat manager runs around the store chasing whoever picks up a goose?

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              Better New Year’s Resolutions

              calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutions

              By   1 month ago

              The usual New Year’s Resolutions (lose weight, exercise, eat right) can be kind of boring. How about livening up your New Year with something off this list instead?

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              Music for Your Holiday

              Joy to the World sung by Goats

              By   2 months ago

              Who knew that sheep and goats were such great Christmas Carolers? Here are a couple of tunes that you might want to add to your Holiday play list.  The first has always been one of Kathy’s favorites. Guess which part really gets her goat.  (Thanks Bill Fosher!) O Holy Night And the link for our […]

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              The Goats of Christmas

              Christmas Goat

              By   2 months ago

              Like the documentary crew that visited this woman and her goats, you might find it hard to believe that they sing, AND that they provide tasty Holiday snacks. But if you watch to the end, you’ll see the miracle. Goats and their people.  Ya gotta love ’em! And the link for our tablet folks.

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