May 23, 2022

Afraid of Running Out of Grass? Here Are Some Options

If you’re in the half of the country that is anticipating continuing drought this summer, you’ve likely begun looking closely at your drought plan and considering your culling options. It’s common for folks to have a plan for culling about 20% of the herd, but in times like this, when drought threatens grazing resources, it’s […]

May 23, 2022

Base Your Grazing Decisions on the Four Principles of Pasture Management

If you’ve been reading On Pasture for any time at all, you know that I emphasize principles because remembering them is easy and can provide good results. They also work no matter where you live, whether you’re working with native grassland or tame forage, with a wide variety of plant types, or just a simple […]

May 23, 2022

Feeling Underappreciated? Here’s How to Tell You’re Important

A common complaint I hear from farmers and ranchers is that the public doesn’t appreciate them, that people don’t understand all the hard work that goes into producing food, and that if they did understand, they would be nicer and be willing to pay more. Actually, it’s similar to complaints I hear from everybody, no […]

May 23, 2022

Managing for All Five Soil Health Principles

Even if you don’t have the same kind of operation the Neuharth’s have, I think you’ll enjoy their story. Their farm is an example of understanding the five soil health principles and then implementing management practices to meet every principle. Best of all, they’re including the next generation in the process and young Johnathan can […]

May 16, 2022

Finding the Information You Need

Back when I was starting to raise meat chickens, I went online and looked for plans for the chicken tractor recommended by a pretty famous person in the farm world. You can find the directions all over the internet. I built one, I used it, and at the end of my first year of raising […]

May 9, 2022

Some Advice for Beginning Graziers

I was talking with a friend last night about our experiences with beginning farmers and ranchers, some of the things they do, and the consequences of those choices. Here are some thoughts for you drawn from our conversation. Choosing an animal breed What should you buy? Well, What will make you money? Don’t choose Icelandic […]

May 2, 2022

Creating an Information System to Get You Where You’re Going

Something funny happened at On Pasture in April. Three OP authors all wrote articles on the same topic without checking in with me or each other first. each article was about some version of record keeping as part of being a successful grazier. That’s why this month we’re focusing on record keeping – or better […]

April 25, 2022

Creating a Grazing Plan to Deal With Drought and/or High Hay Prices

If you’re not facing drought, you’re likely facing higher prices for hay and maybe even reduced hay availability thanks to the rising cost of fertilizer. Either way, you’re looking at ways to make sure you have enough feed for your stock while maintaining soil health and good cover. That’s what a drought plan is all […]

April 25, 2022

Saving Money, and Protecting Soil and Forage Health During Drought and High Hay Prices

Drought and high hay prices have something in common: responding successfully means taking care of soil and forage health. Here I’ve collected tips and principles from ranchers and On Pasture authors to help you think through what you’re managing for and why. Of course a management plan will make all this more doable, so be […]

April 25, 2022

Why I’m Writing About Drought

“A “megadrought” gripping the western United States is the worst one in 500 years, scientists say. And it’s the first to be influenced by human-caused climate change.” Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, April 17, 2020 This year, the megadrought in the West hit 22 years. That means over a third of my life has been spent […]

April 18, 2022

How High Are Fuel Prices Now Compared to the Past?

As John Marble and I were discussing this week’s Thinking Grazier, he asked me to take a look at historic fuel prices and where they were today compared to the past. Of course, based on everything we are hearing in the news, it feels like prices today are outrageous compared to what they used to be. […]

April 11, 2022

Pray for Rain. Plan for Drought.

That’s the advice from the South Dakota Grassland Coalition this grazing season. And this April 7 U.S. Drought Monitor map predicting drought for about half the U.S. is why.   Read on for more SDGC advice on prepping for a drought-driven grazing season. “If we can’t grow grass, we can’t make money. That’s the bottom […]

April 11, 2022

How to Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

Our March article on calving on grass talked about the monetary, health and stress reduction benefits of ranchers discovered. Here’s another way to improve birthing season that ensures more sleep, and less stress. Feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning. That’s […]

April 4, 2022

Lookout for Avian Flu in Your Flock

This week we’re trying to help you solve problems you’re likely to encounter this grazing season. We start with a focus on reducing the impact of hay and fuel costs on your operation. To that, we’re adding some watch outs and ways to prevent your flocks from being impacted by the current round of Highly […]

April 4, 2022

Starting the Grazing Season with the Price of Hay and Fertilizer in Mind

On Pasture reader Richard Moyer wrote me in March about the interesting times we live in and what they might mean for the 2022 grazing season. He said he’d been talking with friends in southern Appalachia about rising fuel and fertilizer prices for the upcoming season. Here’s a sample of what the conversations look like: […]

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