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 9, 2022

High Density Grazing for Spotted Knapweed Suppression

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!

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 11, 2022

How To Determine Your Recovery Period: The Magic Of Thirteen

Focusing on to two basic concepts is the best way to become a successful grazier: Graze Period and Recovery Period. The Graze Period is the time animals are left in a paddock. The proper graze period ensures you get the most out of your forage without allowing your animals to re-graze new growth. The Recovery […]

March 21, 2022

How Much is Fed Hay Worth as Fertilizer?

  Have you ever stopped to think about what the dollar value of the nutrients in the hay are worth as fertilizer once they have been processed by the cow? Here’s some math to provide an answer: Mature cows at maintenance should excrete 100% of the nutrients they consume in terms of nitrogen, phosphorus and […]

March 7, 2022

How Much Forage Do I Have?

This month we’re focused on planning for the upcoming grazing season. Last week, we gave you free, downloadable grazing charts along with a list of questions you can ask yourself to get started adding information to the chart. This week, we’re giving you some more background to help you answer those questions. In this one […]

February 21, 2022

Understanding Plants’ Heat Stress Response Could Lead to Improved Resilience

As a result of a changing climate, the past few decades have seen increased incidences of heat waves with record highs around the globe. In fact, July 2021 was the hottest month ever documented on the planet. In the U.S., the mean temperature was higher than the average for July by 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and […]

February 7, 2022

Mechanics of Soil Compaction in Pastures

Soil compaction can be a big problem on any kind of farmland, whether it’s cropland or pasture. Soil compaction makes it harder for plant roots to penetrate the soil, reduces water infiltration and air exchange, limits the ability of plants to use some nutrients, and increases the chances of water erosion. Traffic of any kind, […]

January 24, 2022

Alfalfa or Clover? Adding Quality Forage to Your Pasture

Reader Question: Is it possible to overseed alfalfa into existing permanent pasture? We have clover that is coming in but alfalfa greens up faster in spring, survives our summer heat and lasts longer in fall. I was thinking adding about 10% alfalfa might be a huge improvement. We need higher quality feed for our sheep […]

January 10, 2022

Tips for Adding Soil Fertility While Weathering High Fertilizer Prices

One of the bigger challenges for this season is going to be fertilizer costs. If you have “stockpiled” some soil fertility in your pastures and hay fields, then you certainly look pretty smart right now. Banking some fertility is easier to do on pastures than it is on hay fields. The majority of nutrients on […]

December 20, 2021

Grazing In The Sweet Spot

Grazing in the Sweet Spot is a phrase I have been using for over a decade. Until the last few years I have only used that term when talking to myself. I didn’t have a good handle on how to explain it to others. Now that I have thought about it for a number of […]

December 6, 2021

Where’s the Poop?

Everyone says that one of the benefits of management intensive grazing is that the cows put the fertilizer right on the ground where it belongs. But how well are they doing their jobs? Are they spreading the love? Or are they concentrating in particular places? Most importantly, who’s going to do the ground surveys to […]

November 22, 2021

Adding and Spreading Pasture Nutrients With All Four Feet on the Ground

Want to improve your pastures? Work with your manure spreaders to get the good stuff on the ground!

November 8, 2021

The Amazing Power of Compost to Increase Forage and Carbon Sequestration

What if you knew that doubling your forage and increasing long-term carbon sequestration was as simple as spreading a thin layer of compost on pastures? Would you do it? In 2008, my friends John Wick and Peggy Rathmann began a study to determine how much carbon is sequestered in soil as a result of managed, […]

October 25, 2021

Grazing Cornstalks? Beware of Nitrates!

Thanks for this article to Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Beef Educator and Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Specialist. Cornstalk residue is a tremendous resource for fall and winter grazing; however, this year care needs to be taken in grazing drought stressed cornstalks due to the potential of high nitrates in the feed. Cattle prefer […]

Translate »