Print

The Scoop View All →

Great Learning Opportunities Coming Up And a Job Opening

By   2 days ago

Going to conferences and workshops is always a great way to get a fresh outlook on life. You run into old friends, and meet new people with interesting ideas and operations. We always come home on fire after a good conference with long lists of things we’re excited to try. We may not get to […]

Read More →

Reader’s Question: Supplementing Energy Through the Winter

By   1 week ago

What to give cows for energy if you can’t give them chocolate?

Read More →

Happy 53rd Anniversary!

By   2 weeks ago

Today is my (Rachel’s) parents’ 53rd anniversary. It’s hard to believe, since my mother doesn’t look a day over 39. And because our families help make us who we are, we’re honoring them with this special post. My parents got married when they were young – really young – and they’ve grown together, the way […]

Read More →

What To Do About This Year’s Flu

By   3 weeks ago

As a seasoned worrier, I’m worrying about all of you getting this year’s particularly nasty strain of the flu. Flu expert Daniel Jernigan says, “Of the viruses we hate, we hate H3N2 more than the other ones.” That’s because this fifty year old virus is more able to change quickly to get around the body’s […]

Read More →

Things We Learned in Iowa

By   4 weeks ago

This past week, Rachel and I were in Iowa presenting at the Iowa Forage and Grassland Council and the Practical Farmers of Iowa conferences. We got to talk about separating science from pseudoscience; on cows as guardians of pastures, habitat and good soils; and about teaching livestock to eat weeds so they can do even […]

Read More →

Wearing Shorts Through the Cold Spell

By   1 month ago

The freeze finally snapped this week, and we’re getting a January thaw. I can breathe a sigh of relief, and not just because I can breathe without swallowing my scarf or having my nostril hair freezing. It means that, at least for a little while, I don’t have to write the daily note allowing the […]

Read More →

Things My Cat Has Trained Me To Do (and what your livestock teach you to do)

By   1 month ago

With Rachel in New York and me in Arizona, we spend a lot of time on the phone working together. These calls are often interrupted by my cat, Molly, tapping me on the leg and meowing so that I will follow her to her food dish and wiggle my fingers in her dry food bowl […]

Read More →

Farmers and Ranchers Growing Together in 2018

By   2 months ago

The On Pasture community is all about learning and growing together. With that in mind, we’re kicking off 2018 with some articles that help us do just that. Here’s what we’ve got for you: Matt Bomgardner shares his lessons learned and changes he made as he transitioned to pastured dairy. Will Kearney has been looking […]

Read More →

    Grazing Management View All →

    A Farmer and a Farm Are Saved By Soil Health

    By   2 days ago

    Thanks to Ron Nichols of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this article about a farmer so inspired by an NRCS Soil Health Meeting that he decided not to leave the farm, but to leave conventional agriculture instead. Jonathan Cobb had made up his mind. He was leaving the farm. “I was disillusioned with farming […]

    Read More →

    Dairies Share Successes With Extending the Grazing Season

    By   1 week ago

    This fall we held two pasture walks to explore what strategies two different dairies use to graze late into fall months. These events were part of a new program funded by United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) to support farmer meetings in the Champlain Valley. We discussed grazing strategies, markets and economics, and of course, had […]

    Read More →

    The 2018 Free Grazing Charts Are Here – Dust Off Your Grazing Plan and Create Personal Resiliency

    By   2 weeks ago

    As winter wanes and the longer day-length activates the neurons that control the body’s daily rhythms, a grazier’s mind can wander into a pastoral scene of warm breezes, children playing, frolicking animals, dancing microbes, unending succulent forage and a wheelbarrow full of greenbacks. Ever wonder if this dream could become a reality? It all starts […]

    Read More →

    Winter Stockpiled Fescue Trumps Hay Every Time – Part 1

    By   2 weeks ago

    Some folks say we should do all we can to get rid of Kentucky 31 fescue in our pastures. But Greg Judy has other ideas. In this four part series he covers his experiences, good and bad, with this grass, and why he’s keeping his. He starts with the basic benefits of winter stockpile.

    Read More →

    Unrolling Hay for Feed and Pasture Fertility

    By   3 weeks ago

    Here’s Greg Judy, up at the crack of dawn to show us how he unrolls hay for feed and for pasture fertility. He’s strip grazing to feed 300 cattle, and unrolling a 1500 bale to supplement them. He uses his ATV and a homemade bale unroller. It’s a lightweight solution that prevents driving ruts into […]

    Read More →

    Finding and Solving Leaks in Your Watering System

    By   4 weeks ago

    In the last week or so, I’ve received several inquiries on water systems from producers trying to diagnose pump issues or other problems. I guess I just couldn’t be left out of that crowd because I now have a leak in an area where I had moved some soil around late summer.   Sometimes trying […]

    Read More →

    From Minimal to Mob – Lifestyle and Economic Considerations for Designing your Grazing Program

    By   1 month ago

    America is a great place. In this neck of the woods we get to do almost anything we want, and nowhere is that more true than in the grazing world. Graziers get to decide what their business, their land, even their life looks like. But here’s the trouble with all that freedom: lots of choices […]

    Read More →

    Winter Electric Fence Solutions

    By   1 month ago

    The use of Electric Fence in the winter is fast becoming a solution for controlling livestock. Some use it for winter grazing practices, some use it to protect haystacks from both livestock and wildlife. Others use it for a quick fix all through the winter and early spring, not to mention using normal range fences. […]

    Read More →

      Pasture Health View All →

      Winter Stockpiled Fescue Trumps Hay Every Time – Part 3 – Fescue Tolerant Animals and Grazing

      By   2 days ago

      This is Part 3 in Greg’s four part series about the trouble with Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue, and how he’s learned to love it. (Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.) Here he describes the management techniques that have made him question moves to try to eradicate it from his pastures. My Pasture Renovation […]

      Read More →

      A Farmer and a Farm Are Saved By Soil Health

      By   2 days ago

      Thanks to Ron Nichols of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this article about a farmer so inspired by an NRCS Soil Health Meeting that he decided not to leave the farm, but to leave conventional agriculture instead. Jonathan Cobb had made up his mind. He was leaving the farm. “I was disillusioned with farming […]

      Read More →

      Winter Stockpiled Fescue Trumps Hay Every Time – Part 2

      By   1 week ago

      Should you get rid of your endophyte-infected tall fescue? Greg shares why we don’t like it, and why getting rid of it may be hard on us too.

      Read More →

      Winter Stockpiled Fescue Trumps Hay Every Time – Part 1

      By   2 weeks ago

      Some folks say we should do all we can to get rid of Kentucky 31 fescue in our pastures. But Greg Judy has other ideas. In this four part series he covers his experiences, good and bad, with this grass, and why he’s keeping his. He starts with the basic benefits of winter stockpile.

      Read More →

      Managing Salinity With Forages – Lessons From a Grazier

      By   3 weeks ago

      Teri Edeal planted a mix of grasses that thrive in saline soils. The soils improved, and that pasture has been a lifesave in drought. Read more about how it worked.

      Read More →

      Snow Retention Pasture Walk

      By   4 weeks ago

      You can learn a lot about keeping moisture in your soils by taking a little winter walk. Here’s what Troy learned about the hedgerows and structures that keep his pastures healthy.

      Read More →

      Hedgerows – How Tos for Great Shelter and Habitat

      By   1 month ago

      In this 3:56 video, John Suscovich (Farm Marketing Solutions) and Troy Bishopp (our own Grass Whisperer) talk about hedgerows and why you should consider them for your operation. One of the first reasons is that wind you hear in the background. If you’re tired of wind blowing unchecked across your pastures, hedgerows are for you. […]

      Read More →

      Why Should You Grow Multiple Types of Forage Grasses for Grazing Animals?

      By   1 month ago

      Thanks to Jesse Morrison of Mississippi State and the Soil Science Society of America for this article! Although it might seem like grazing animals will eat any grass in the field, they are actually picky eaters. They prefer a “buffet” of grass choices. And while it’s good for the grazing animals, growing a variety of […]

      Read More →

        Livestock View All →

        When Does a Cow In Labor Need Help?

        By   2 days ago

        How do you know when a cow is labor is having trouble? How do you know when to start helping her? Well, research done over 30 years ago at Oklahoma State University and at the Agricultural Research Service Laboratory in Miles City, Montana has some answers for us. They looked at how long “stage two” […]

        Read More →

        A Cow’s Teeth Tell Her Age, and Can Help With Culling Decisions

        By   1 week ago

        In order to maintain condition in a pasture setting without copious amounts of supplemental feed, a cow must have a full set of teeth that have not been worn down too much. Using dentition, or the condition and wear, of the cow’s teeth can be a useful tool to determine if the cow should stay […]

        Read More →

        Fladry Fencing Can Protect Cattle From Wolves

        By   2 weeks ago

        Montana Rancher John Hanson went from total skeptic to believer after seeing how electrified fladry fencing successfully protected his calving grounds from wolves. He couldn’t believe that a hotwire with flags attached could do any good. But seeing is believing. Before the fencing, he’d lost 10% of his calves to wolves. After fencing, not one […]

        Read More →

        Feeding Cows For Cold Weather? They Need More!

        By   3 weeks ago

        We think you already know this. But do you have the breakdown of how much more they need depending on the temperature, wind chill, and how wet or dry their coats are?

        Read More →

        Sorting Out the Bull – Things to Consider When Buying a Bull

        By   4 weeks ago

        The purchase of a bull is a significant investment and represents the genetic future of the calves and in many cases replacement heifers that will go into the cowherd. The following are thoughts on a process that producers can use when planning the purchase of their next sire. What do you want your cowherd and […]

        Read More →

        Common Diseases of Grazing Beef Cattle

        By   1 month ago

        This article comes to us from Dr. John Comerford, Penn State Extension Beef Specialist. Thanks! 1. Bloat The incidence of bloat in cattle grazing legumes is well documented. Bloat is caused by the rapid fermentation of legume plants that produce high levels of gas as a by-product of the fermentation. This excess gas cannot be […]

        Read More →

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

        By   1 month ago

        Here’s a way to make your upcoming calving, lambing and kidding season a little less stressful: feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning. That’s the advice shared in this video by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension Cattle Specialist. The […]

        Read More →

        Cow Nutrition Requirements: Calving to Breeding

        By   2 months ago

        Thanks to South Dakota State Extension for this article! Nutritional management of the cow herd is more important during the periods of late pregnancy and early lactation than any other time in the annual production cycle. “Nutrition has a huge impact on the performance of both the cow and the newborn calf,” said Ken Olson, […]

        Read More →

          Money Matters View All →

          Boneheaded Beef Business Blunders Part 2: I Have Trust Issues

          By   2 days ago

          The response to my January article about business blunders has been strong and positive. I am glad my experiences are resonating with and helping the grazing community. I have these articles planned through July, so stay tuned for plenty more tales from a recovering business bonehead. This month, lets talk Trust. Check References If you […]

          Read More →

          Conservation Districts Are Here To Help

          By   1 week ago

          There have been plenty of times in my life when I’ve thought “Boy, I wish I had someone to ask about this problem….” We’ve probably all been there, wondering where to find someone with some answers, or resources that could make our work a little easier, or help us be more successful. So here’s some […]

          Read More →

          Cattle Calculator Helps You Schedule Reproduction, Track Performance and MORE!

          By   2 weeks ago

          In livestock production, we live with the consequences of yesterdays decisions today, sometimes from choices made months if not years in the past. This simple truth supports the philosophy that diligent time management and planning yield the best result(s). As I write this article, I can hear my dad’s voice championing a “5 P’s”: prior […]

          Read More →

          Here Are the Ins and Outs of Farm Funding With Federal Loans

          By   3 weeks ago

          The National Young Farmers Coalition has just released a guidebook to Farm Service Agency loans that will have you walking through the bureaucracy with ease. The best part? It’s FREE. Get it here!

          Read More →

          Boneheaded Beef Business Blunders Part 1 – Be a Business, Not a Charity

          By   4 weeks ago

          January 2018 makes it four and a half years that Rhinestone Cattle Company has been in the grassfed beef business. I started out with a 7-acre leased pasture and intentions to stocker three calves for a summer, then grow through retained profits. Since then I have managed a maximum herd of 120 head, leased over […]

          Read More →

          Ten Things You Can Do For Yourself in 2018

          By   1 month ago

          Let’s not call these New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s think of them as things we do just because they make us happy, and more profitable.   1. Pay Yourself a fair wage If you are like most farmers or ranchers you don’t pay yourself or other family members a regular salary. That’s a mistake and you […]

          Read More →

          Hiring the Right People and Keeping Them Too

          By   1 month ago

          As we head into 2018, many of us are thinking about how to get the kind of help that will make us more successful. Here’s a good overview of the kinds of things we can think about. We’ll be going deeper on some of these topics in coming months. Tell us what you need more of!

          Read More →

          Managing Across Boundaries For Mutual Success

          By   2 months ago

          An old farmer once told me, when I was getting my start in the ranching business, “You don’t control the wind, but you can at least set your sail.” To me, that sounded like a fair deal. If the ranch is the ship, than beyond the perimeter fences lies the ocean. When I stand there, […]

          Read More →

            Consider This View All →

            Fox Hunting in the Old Days

            By   2 days ago

            Rural life isn’t just about raising livestock and working hard. It’s also about the things people do for fun to commune with the environment and the people around them. Don shares what that used to mean in Louisiana for men and their dogs.

            Read More →

            Shrimp-Fishing Horses

            By   1 week ago

            For nearly 700 years, the shrimpers of Oostduinkerke, Belgium, have been training draft horses to help them pursue the local catch. Typically weighing more than 2,000 pounds, these horses are well suited to the task of carrying fishermen through the cold waters of the North Sea. Yet despite its historical importance, Oostduinkerke is the last […]

            Read More →

            What If the U.S. Got Rid of All Livestock?

            By   2 weeks ago

            What if we got rid of all livestock? Would that reduce greenhouse gases? And what would we eat instead? Those are some of the questions that authors Robin White and Mary Beth Hall tried to answer. To see what would happen they modeled a United States where no livestock existed, and we ate only plant-based […]

            Read More →

            Are You Better Than Average at Conservation?

            By   3 weeks ago

            “In the field of social psychology, illusory superiority is a cognitive bias whereby a person overestimates their own qualities and abilities, in relation to the same qualities and abilities of other persons”. The Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll is always fascinating. But one question was especially illuminating in this year’s survey. Farmers were asked, […]

            Read More →

            Advice For Beginners (and All of Us)

            By   4 weeks ago

            Not all the farming information you get on YouTube will make you successful.

            Read More →

            Beef and Biodiversity – How Do We Get Both?

            By   1 month ago

            The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is working with ranchers and other partners on research that will tell us which grazing management gets us the most bang for our buck. Thanks to Jan Suszkiw, and the ARS’s AgMag for this article!  Justin Derner likens the Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER) in northeastern Colorado to a “living […]

            Read More →

            Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint” in 2018

            By   1 month ago

            It’s hard to be a speaker at a conference when that’s not your normal job, and sometimes PowerPoint doesn’t help as much as we thought. So here are some tips to help speakers, and audiences have a more productive conference season.

            Read More →

            One of Our Own Receives Award for Grassland Advocacy

            By   2 months ago

            On Pasture contributor Troy Bishopp, known by many as “The Grass Whisperer,” received the 2017 Grassfed Exchange Service Award in honor of his more than thirty years of advocacy and mentoring to expand grass-fed livestock enterprises. Grassfed Exchange Board member, Dr. Allen Williams said, “Troy has long been a pioneer and innovator in the world […]

            Read More →

              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              What to Pay for Leased Pasture

              By   2 days ago

              “What should I pay for a pasture lease?” is a search that brings lots of readers to On Pasture. It’s also a hard question to answer as there are so many things that factor into a pasture’s value. This was the first in a 4 part series published in 2014 to put together information to […]

              Read More →

              Know When to Keep Your Money In Your Pocket

              By   1 week 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.

              Read More →

              How to Use Troy Bishopp’s Free Grazing Charts

              By   2 weeks ago

              This is our favorite time of the year – THE NEW GRAZING CHARTS ARE HERE! THE NEW GRAZING CHARTS ARE HERE! Click here to get yours! To celebrate, this week’s Classic by NatGLC comes from the On Pasture “Special Collections.” It’s the series of articles Troy Bishopp wrote to show you the steps for making […]

              Read More →

              Winter Frost-Seeding For Better Summer Pastures

              By   3 weeks ago

              From January 2017, Genevieve’s tips can help you adjust your winter grazing now for frost-seeding to prep for summer. Frost-seeding is one form of over-seeding, in which you can use legumes to economically and quickly thicken a pasture or a perennial hayfield in late winter. Though no-till drilling has more guarantee of success, frost seeding […]

              Read More →

              Grazing Your Cover Crops Can Build Good Soil

              By   4 weeks ago

              This comes to us from a January 2017 issue of On Pasture. It gives you tips for cover crop types and grazing management to help improve soil health. You may have thought that planting a cover crop and leaving it alone until termination and planting of the cash crop is the best way to get […]

              Read More →

              BudBoxes Work Better Than Tub Systems

              By   1 month ago

              This is Part 2 of a series by Whit Hibbard that we published in 2017. Part 1 busted the myth that distractions cause animals to balk in handling systems.  In this article he address which handling systems work best. When asked about the differences between tubs and BudBoxes, Temple Grandin claims that BudBoxes are skill […]

              Read More →

              Tips for Setting Up Paddocks for Managed Grazing

              By   1 month ago

              Last week’s video provided food for thought on how to look at your landscape to produce the most forage possible. Here’s an example from October 2014, of how Steve Freeman set up paddocks on his operation. Managed grazing means gaining more control of your grazing. When we built our first grazing system 25 years ago, […]

              Read More →

              Working On Your Pasture Layout

              By   2 months ago

              If you’re just starting management-intensive grazing, or if you’ve been doing it for awhile and are wondering if there’s something you might improve on, here’s a video we shared in 2013 that gives some good pointers for thinking about your pasture layout. Starting from a goal of taking advantage of your landscape to maximize forage […]

              Read More →

                The Funnies View All →

                Scaring the Mailman

                By   2 days ago

                I’d be scared too!

                Read More →

                Artisanal Toilet Paper

                By   1 week ago

                Maybe we don’t want to roll back 150 years of innovation.

                Read More →

                Talented Swiss Cow

                By   2 weeks ago

                Can your Bessie do this? Translating – Kuh Lovely fåhrt Downhill = Cow Lovely rides downhill. 🙂

                Read More →

                Baling Twine Part 2

                By   3 weeks ago

                Yes, some folks have cause to hate baling twine. But we really do use it for everything! (And here’s Part 1 if you missed it.)

                Read More →

                Artisanal Firewood

                By   4 weeks ago

                If you made it nicely through the big cold snap, firewood may have been a part of the reason why. But did you have the BEST firewood possible?

                Read More →

                Baling Twine Part 1

                By   1 month ago

                What would you do without it?  

                Read More →

                Engine Problems Solved

                By   1 month ago

                Sometimes the solutions are so obvious!  

                Read More →

                The Running of the Squirrels

                By   2 months ago

                Sure, bulls can be big and scary, but it’s the squirrels that will take you down. A lesson from a Superbowl XXXIV Ad in 2000 that works for farmers and ranchers too.

                Read More →
                  Print