June 27, 2022

I’ve Got This Weed In My Pasture. What Does It Tell Me About My Soil?

You may have seen this On Pasture article before, but since this month we’re focusing on weeds, I thought you’d like to see it again. Enjoy! Can weeds tell you about soil health issues? Well, yes and no. I’ve got a lot of experience with weeds since I’ve spent the last 17 years teaching cattle, […]

June 27, 2022

What Should I Do About Pasture Weeds?

Back in the Spring of 2010, the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) in Miles City, Montana put out a press release announcing an online calculator that could tell producers how many more cattle they could raise if they were able to eliminate one or two widespread invasive plants. Matt Rinella, the rangeland ecologist who developed the […]

June 27, 2022

Cows Eat Leafy Spurge

Contrary to what you’ve been told, leafy spurge does not cause harm to cattle, and with a little training, they can and will eat it. So why not turn that pest into forage? Here Kathy shares what she’s learned about getting cattle to eat leafy spurge over her decade of teaching cows to eat weeds.

June 27, 2022

A Rancher’s Discovery Provides Hope for Controlling Medusahead Rye

The economic impacts of Medusahead rye can be extreme. Dense infestations can reduce rangeland livestock carrying capacity by 50-80%. The resulting impact on wildlife habitat, and the increase in wildfire frequency and severity causes additional losses to ranchers and rural communities. Meanwhile, it is so resilient, that controlling it with herbicides can cost as much […]

June 13, 2022

Canada thistle is my favorite forage. You can learn to love it too!

Since developing a simple method for teaching cows and other livestock to eat weeds, I’ve trained lots of cows, goats, sheep and bison to eat most of our most problematic invasives. With all I’ve learned about weeds in that time, I’ve grown to love one more than all the rest: Canada thistle (cirsium arvense, also […]

June 13, 2022

I Know You Paid A Lot of Money to Manage Weeds, But It Just Doesn’t Work

That’s pretty much what the research, and a decade of experience has shown me about using herbicides to control weeds. More about that, plus an alternative that actually works.

June 13, 2022

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

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 […]

June 13, 2022

Can Cows Eat Woolly Croton (Goatweed/Doveweed)?

When I was in Grapevine, Texas for a conference several years ago, lots of folks asked me if they could use my training technique to teach cows to eat Woolly Croton. Woolly Croton (Croton capitatus) is also known as goat weed or dove weed, because dove, quail and turkeys love the seeds it produces. That […]

June 6, 2022

Your Livestock Can Help You Win the War on Weeds

This month we’re focusing on weeds and the way we think about them. In fact, my goal is that you start appreciating them for what they are: quality forage. I know this is a hard thing to do, so I’ll start with a story about how I found out that weeds are great. It Started […]

June 6, 2022

Is Kathy a Kook and Other FAQs About Teaching Livestock to Eat Weeds

In 2004, I developed a simple method that anyone can use to train livestock to eat weeds. In this month’s Grazier’s Focus I tell the story of how this all happened, what the process looks like, and the benefits to graziers of having a weed-eating herd. That probably leaves you with some questions. Here are […]

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

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

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 […]

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