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The Coming Revolution

By   /  November 17, 2014  /  5 Comments

What will cover crops do for us? Here are some thoughts from Chip Hines

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Grazing cover crops. Photo courtesy of the NRCS. Crop farming has gone through several stages of evo
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About the author

Chip Hines was born and raised on a farm and ranch southwest of Burlington, Colorado. After moving to the Kit Carson, Colorado area and working on several large ranches Chip and his wife Judy began leasing land and buying cows in 1968. Unbeknownst to them this was the run-up to the big cattle break in 1974. Their first cattle cycle lesson. Chip has not forgotten! In 1989 he began planned grazing and concentrated even more on his low input philosophy. The years of learning have been published in three books on ranch management, available on his website, http://chiphines.com. Chip now lives in Yuma, Colorado and is still involved in supporting the cattle industry.


  1. Robert Friel says:

    I planted Jerry oats, turnips, annual rye, orchard grass and red clover in over grazed, on purpose, tall fescue pasture. I got some fall growth but my goal is early spring grazing with the clover and orchard grass for mid summer. I farm in western Ky and this is my first attempt.


  2. bill elkins says:

    I’ve been grazing cattle on long established Tall Fescue pasture following the Greg Judy strategy to diversify with some partial success, which varies year to year. After my stockpile forage is used up in early spring, we could use a “cover crop” that was seeded in fall into recently grazed permanent pasture. I’m dubious about drilling Brassica, rye grass and the like into my sward in late summer without using herbicide, afraid the seed would not take in face of competition. This would be putting a “cover crop” into pre-existing cover. Any advice anyone?

    • Edmund Brown says:

      I haven’t tried it, but I’ve thought of intentionally over-grazing a section of pasture and then drilling into the weakened sward. I have no clue how well the seeding of (enter your crop here) would do…

      • Kathy Voth says:

        As I’m doing research for articles for On Pasture, I’ve actually found some information on this. I’ll dig it back out and write it up since it seems to be of interest here.

    • Chip Hines says:

      Jaime Elozonda of Florida routinely grazes a cover crop very short, then plants. I’m not sure of the plants grazed down or what goes in next. He is successful doing this in his environment.


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