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The Scoop View All →

When Will Spring Arrive This Year?

By   1 day ago

For me, February is always the longest month, even though it has the fewest number of calendar days. It’s the month when winter has gone on long enough and I’m just done with it. It’s the month I start looking for Spring. So – will it be early this year? According to Punxatawney Phil, the […]

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Let Go of the Goat and No One Gets Hurt

By   1 week ago

Our livestock could be one of the biggest dangers to our safety.

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Are You a Super Farmer/Rancher?

By   2 weeks ago

I was supposed to be in Wisconsin this past week, enjoying the -20 degree temperatures, and speaking at the 2019 Grassworks conference. I didn’t make it. My first flight out was cancelled, and rescheduled for later in the afternoon. So I checked my bag and went home for a few hours. When I returned, my […]

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Is There One Right Answer?

By   3 weeks ago

When I was working for the Bureau of Land Management and stationed at Utah State University, a friend and I started an internship program called “Tehabi.” It gave students the background and experience they needed to work for land management agencies like the National Park Service, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and helped […]

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Maybe This is Why You Don’t Like the Research Coming From Land Grant Colleges

By   4 weeks ago

From time to time readers complain about the research coming out of our land grant colleges. “It headed us in the wrong direction.” “It only serves the big corporations.” “It doesn’t consider what farmers and ranchers need.” These are comments I’ve heard over the years. So why is that? Well one reason is funding. As […]

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Tell Us How To Make Conservation Programs Work For You

By   1 month ago

Your ideas could make a difference! One of the organizations On Pasture works with to bring you articles every week is the Western Landowners Alliance. WLA recognizes that economic vitality and conservation go hand-in-hand, and they promote policies and practices that sustain private landowners in their work. To do that best, they need to know […]

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The Best New Years’s Resolutions For Farmers and Ranchers

By   1 month ago

This first “Scoop” of the new year comes to us from Don Ashford. Thanks, Don! Another year has come and gone and now comes the time for all of the resolutions to be made for the New Year. Folks resolve to lose weight, quit smoking or dipping, cut back on their drinking, exercise more – […]

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How to Find Articles to Read While On Pasture is On Break

By   2 months ago

It’s an On Pasture tradition that we take time off at the end of every year to spend  some time with our families. This year we’re off December 24 – January 7. We’ll be back on January 8 with lots more great articles for you! But we never leave you without something good to read! […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Grazing Management Using Cow Pie GIS

    By   1 day ago

    GIS is an abbreviation for Geographic Information Systems. In practical terms GIS is the application of the science of location and all things related. In the last several years significant advances on global positioning and high tech farm equipment has leveraged this technology to increase yields  on grain farms, more efficiently apply fertilizers to growing […]

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    Our Move to Year-Round Grazing

    By   2 weeks ago

    Dean Schneider, a rancher in Oklahoma, is moving to year round grazing after decades of making and feeding hay. Here’s how he’s managing the change.

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    You Do Not Have to Move Cows Every Day

    By   3 weeks ago

    You do not have to move cows every day to build soil health. You don’t always have to stretch polywire to implement rotational grazing. Sometimes you will have to feed hay, and this can be as constructive as it is destructive. There is a growing trend that I am seeing in “regenerative” agriculture to push […]

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    Tips for Grazing Cover Crops

    By   4 weeks ago

    When we graze cover-crops we always need to be considering both meeting the livestock needs as well as soil building objectives. The more cover-crop yield you can produce, the more biomass you can afford to leave behind. Here is an example of grazing BMR sorghum yielding over 180 AUD/acre while leaving well over one ton […]

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    Pugging Prevention For Wet Winter Grazing

    By   1 month ago

    Last week Troy Bishopp described how he met the challenge of grazing with wet weather and late freezing temperatures. (Of course the best prevention is some snow – which many of you are getting this week.) Here are some more suggestions from Victor Shelton for managing your grazing to prevent damage to your forage. Plus […]

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    How My Grazing Plan Helped When Everything Went Wrong

    By   1 month ago

    Troy has been sharing how he extends his grazing season every year thanks to charting his management. But this fall Mother Nature threw him a big curve with rain 28 days out of 40 and a killing frost that came a month late. Here’s how he made it through.

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    Working With Grazing Charts to Manage Grazing and Have Time For the Rest of Your Life

    By   2 months ago

    While On Pasture is on winter break, we’re sharing resources that you might find helpful. Recently we’ve made some handouts that you can download for free and then copy and share at workshops, conferences and other events. This one covers the ins and outs of using a grazing chart to plan your grazing so that […]

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    Good Grazing Management Brings an Ecosystem Back to Life

    By   2 months ago

    “This is so much more than just stewardship of the land. It’s about modeling the behaviors that we all should have, whether we’re a homeowner in town, a 10-acre ranchette, or a 10,000 acre ranch.” – Tanse Herrmann, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service When Gary and Amy Cammack purchased 927 acres of rangeland in 1984, it […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Planting Ryegrass for Winter Grazing

      By   1 day ago

      Even if you’re not planting ryegrass, Don’s tips work for prepping for other seeding for pasture improvements as well.

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      Is More Soil Organic Matter Always Better?

      By   1 week ago

      Here’s a press release from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies sharing some new information about soil organic matter’s contribution to crop yields. While increasing soil organic matter provides numerous benefits (like carbon sequestration, improved water-holding capacity and reduced run-off and erosion), it turns out that some of the science about increases in production […]

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      Thinking of Seeding Your Pastures?

      By   4 weeks ago

      By this time of year, any seeding of forages would be considered a dormant seeding. Seeds planted now will lay there until the right conditions present themselves closer to spring. Most producers with pasture or hay ground understand the concept of “frost-seeding.” Frost-seeding is taking advantage of the freeze-thaw process of the soil during winter […]

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      Preventing the Spread of Medusahead

      By   1 month ago

      Last week we looked at why Medusahead Rye is so dangerous. This week Beth shares how we can prevent its spread. These tips are important for preventing the spread of all kinds of weedy species, so check them out and use them, even if you don’t have Medusahead. Preventing medusahead from establishing in new areas […]

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      The Curse of Medusahead Rye

      By   1 month ago

      A team of genetic engineers couldn’t have devised a more ecologically lethal and effective invasive weed than Medusahead Rye. Beth Burritt is one of the researchers working on ways to stop it in it’s march across the U.S. from west to east. In this series of articles she shares what we need to know about the plant, and about a treatment that a rancher discovered that just may be a solution.

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      Learn From Greg Judy – One of On Pasture’s First Authors

      By   2 months ago

      Greg Judy was part of the original On Pasture think tank. As one of On Pasture’s Writers in Residence, he’s written plenty of articles over the almost six years we’ve been publishing, sharing his wealth of experience. You can read all of his articles, starting with the most recent, by clicking here. Two Search Tips […]

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      To Plant Or Not To Plant My Ryegrass

      By   2 months ago

      Even if you’re not a candidate for planting ryegrass, you’ll want to check out the principles of grazing management that Don describes in this piece about working with your local climate, understanding forages, and making grazing pay.

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      Carbohydrate Reserve Theory: What You Learned Might Be Wrong

      By   3 months ago

      The authors start with four pieces of information that put the role of carbohydrate reserves into question. Then they share ideas for good grazing to work well with plant physiology.

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        Money Matters View All →

        Shiitake Mushrooms Add Value to Silvopasture

        By   1 day ago

        Note from Kathy: In April of 2018 I visited Greg and Jan Judy at Green Pastures farm. When I arrived, Greg was in the middle of inoculating logs with Shiitake mushroom mycelium, and he explained the process and the adjustments they’d made to their operation as it has grown. Check out Greg’s video here, as […]

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        Jumping In With Both Feet – How One Young Rancher Got Started in the 21st Century

        By   1 week ago

        Last month John described what successful ranching might look like in the future, and what steps young ranchers might consider. This article is another look at that subject, sharing the example of  a young entrepreneur finding success with a diverse, forward-thinking business model. My young friend Cody Wood is a nut; anyone can see that. […]

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        The Importance of Being Earnest About Low Stress Handling

        By   2 weeks ago

        Low-Stress Livestock handling is more than just being kind to your animals and the people working with you. As Tom points out, the money it saves you can be very significant!

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        Successes In My Heifer Development Business

        By   3 weeks ago

        I spent my first four years in the grazing business running custom cow-calf pairs. It wasn’t profitable for me and I determined that it wasn’t the best use of my resources (as I discussed in some of my On Pasture articles in 2018). In spring 2018, I switched to being a seasonal operation. I bought […]

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        Lies, Scams, Disagreements, Misunderstandings – The Need for Written Agreements and/or Contracts

        By   4 weeks ago

        We all prefer trusting and being trustworthy, but sometimes things just don’t work out without a contract of some sort to clarify expectations. Here are some examples of problems that could have been prevented by having more than a handshake.

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        Ranching in the Future – What Should Young Ranchers Expect?

        By   1 month ago

        I recently received a note from a young friend (let’s call her Peggy Sue) who desperately wants to be a rancher. Since her childhood she has dreamed of working with animals. She has learned about marketing and economics. She’s studied hard and become a competent grazier. She’s done some hard work. But she’s getting a […]

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        Building a Beef Business – Lessons Learned

        By   2 months ago

        Meg Grzeskiewicz has always wanted to be a rancher. But getting there without a family farm to start from means she’s facing challenges that many new farmers and ranchers face: how to develop the skills and how to find a land base to work from. She’s taken these challenges head on, starting first with getting […]

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        Diverse Family Farms Are Important To Us All

        By   2 months ago

        This article comes to us from Bob Hoppe of the USDA Economic Research Service. It was originally published to announce the findings of the 2016 edition of the report on America’s Diverse Family Farms. The data he provides are still relevant. I’ve updated it with the most recent report link. Family farms remain an essential […]

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          Consider This View All →

          From Tibet, With Love

          By   1 day ago

          When your spouse knows you and what you love, even the most ordinary ranch supplies can become a sweet gift.

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          Sojourn in the Snow

          By   1 week ago

          Have you been having any fun lately? Troy reminds us to be kids once in awhile.

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          A Bull Named Pron

          By   3 weeks ago

          We were over at John Seal’s one day looking to buy some of those big Holstein heifers from Wisconsin that he would go up there and get about twice a year. We were trying to grow our outfit and our heifer production, in our mind, was going too slow. We had bought heifers from John […]

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          Soil Fertility and Good Feed – That’s Why Greg Judy Unrolls Hay

          By   1 month ago

          Back in 1999 when we first started leasing idle land for grazing that needed serious fertility, I designed my first bale unroller. We had all these old farms that had been stripped of their fertility by folks continuously haying them every year without putting back any nutrients. We did not have any money to fertilize […]

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          New Ideas to Solve Old Problems

          By   2 months ago

          John Marble, another of On Pasture’s Writers in Residence, has been writing for On Pasture for a little over two years. He focuses on helping us take a new look at things we might take for granted. Examples include his thoughts on paddock design and moving livestock, and his article “From Minimal To Mob – […]

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          The Giving Farm

          By   2 months ago

          In 1971, I was a confused eight year old who cried in horror as men lashed my grandfather William’s fourteen, beloved Guernsey cows in an attempt to make them walk up the steep ramp into a cattle truck destined for the auction barn. The sober event was dictated by the decision not to spend money […]

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          Free Guide For Managing Stress on the Farm/Ranch

          By   3 months ago

          Are you stressed? Or are you feeling anxiety? Turns out that there are specific definitions for these two terms. Understanding the difference, and labeling what we’re experiencing lets us adjust our mindset. And that can help us manage the level of stress in our lives and improve our businesses and our health. Thanks to Charlotte […]

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          Only the Learners Survive – Thoughts on How to Be One of Them

          By   3 months ago

          This is a quote from Eric Hoffer who was known as the longshoreman philosopher. Mr. Hoffer has been dead since 1983 but these words are more applicable today than when he wrote them. Those of us, who a few years ago began to realize that the “learned” were being no help to us at all, […]

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Growing Multiple Forage Species is Good For Your Pastures and Your Animals

            By   1 day ago

            Thanks to Jesse Morrison of Mississippi State and the Soil Science Society of America for this article from January of 2018. It might help you give some thought to what you want to plant if you’re thinking of adding to your pastures this year. Although it might seem like grazing animals will eat any grass […]

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            Grab the Bull by the Horns – What to Consider When Buying a Bull

            By   1 week ago

            Are you looking for a new bull? This January 2018 article has some suggestions as you search. 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 […]

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            Rancher Doubles Forage Production by Grazing Half and Resting Half

            By   2 weeks ago

            In February of 2017 we took readers on a summer visit to South Dakota with this article and video. Since so many of you just made it through the Polar Vortex, we thought another summer trip was in order in 2019. We hope it helps you look forward to warmer times! Charlie and his wife […]

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            Figuring Out How Often You Should Move Your Herd

            By   3 weeks ago

            This week James Matthew Craighead points out that we don’t have to move our cows every day. John Marble adds to that idea with a look at the lifestyle and economic choices involved in our grazing management.  This brought up quite a discussion when we first ran this in January of 2018! I’ve added those […]

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            Grazing Hacks for Feeding Mineral, Blocking Water Gaps and Solar Charger Stands

            By   4 weeks ago

            Steve shared this information with us back in back in January of 2015. They’re ideas that will still work today. And if you’ve got ideas, do share! Your On Pasture community would love to have your help. Dan Divine, a former NRCS agent based in Wright County Missouri, was telling me about his water gap […]

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            How to Save Hypothermic Lambs

            By   1 month ago

            Bill Fosher first shared this with us in January of 2014. Here it is again to help our winter lambing readers. In winter lambing flocks, hypothermia and starvation of newborn lambs can account for nearly all of the pre-weaning death loss of lambs. It’s a serious problem that can often be minimized through careful management […]

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            Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

            By   1 month ago

            With almost 12,000 reads, this is the most read post for December 2018. I can see why too! It’s an easy 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 […]

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            Clearing Your Plate For a Fresh New Year

            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. From December of 2015, Here is Chris Blanchard’s list of things he’s going to clear off his plate so he can start fresh in […]

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              Livestock View All →

              Driving Your Herd – Better Techniques to Get Where You’re Going

              By   1 week ago

              Last week Tom Krawiec wrote about how much money he saved simply by using low-stress handling to drive his cattle. Since folks wanted to learn more, Whit is sharing this article on the low-stress handling techniques that made Tom’s cattle drive possible. Just about everything we do with our cattle comes down to driving them […]

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              Teaching Cattle To Graze Like Goats

              By   2 weeks ago

              Not so long ago, I visited Mike Roberts, the ranch manager at Waldron Ranch in Alberta, Canada. Mike is definitely one of those outside-the-box thinkers. As a great example, he is teaching his cattle to be goats to control woody species invasion on native rangelands. On part of the ranch, he has developed about 50 […]

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              The Importance of Being Earnest About Low Stress Handling

              By   2 weeks ago

              Low-Stress Livestock handling is more than just being kind to your animals and the people working with you. As Tom points out, the money it saves you can be very significant!

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              Help Replacement Heifers Be More Successful Calving and Breeding Back

              By   3 weeks ago

              In this video from Oklahoma State University Extension and SunUp TV, Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Cattle Specialist, talks about the key to your replacement heifers have a successful first calving: it’s good body condition. This means that on a one to nine scale, they should be at least at the mid-point of 5, and even […]

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              Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Starting Herd Movement For a Successful Drive

              By   1 month ago

              For the past few years, Whit Hibbard has been sharing a series of articles on Low-Stress Livestock Handling (LSLH). We’ve gathered these articles as one of our Special Collections so you can see them all. Stay tuned as we’ll be sharing a number of new articles in upcoming issues of On Pasture. Driving—the active process […]

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              Prepping for Calving Season

              By   1 month ago

              Most of these tips apply to any kind of livestock that will be giving birth. So check it out!

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              Thoughts and Lessons From Decades of Farming

              By   2 months ago

              I met Don and Betty Ashford in September of 2014 when I went to Louisiana to talk about how to train cows to eat weeds. Betty made Monkey Bread for me, I fed her and all the pasture walk participants cricket brownies and fried larvae, and the cows learned to eat horse nettle, teaweed/prickly sida, […]

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              Livestock Basics

              By   2 months ago

              While Matthew focuses on cattle in his look at the basics, the questions he poses and what they need are right on for all classes of livestock.

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                The Funnies View All →

                Housekeeping Advice

                By   1 day ago

                This could save you some time!

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                A Little Valentine’s Day Assistance

                By   1 week ago

                Did you forget your sweetie? Don’t worry! Choose your card, print it off, and voila! You’re good to go! Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! Kathy              

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                Sheep and Goats on Ice

                By   2 weeks ago

                Even on four feet, ice can be a tricky thing!

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                Relationship Questions

                By   3 weeks ago

                Have you ever heard this?

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                For You Bacon Lovers

                By   4 weeks ago

                Sometimes bacon comes before everything.

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                Snowman Humor x 3

                By   1 month ago

                For all of you covered in snow this week…

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                Proper Opossum Massage

                By   1 month ago

                The New Year is always a good time to learn a new skill. Here you go!

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                My Holiday Song To You

                By   2 months ago

                In honor of the season and all you do to help others, here’s my song to you.

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