Monday, July 15, 2024
HomePasture HealthForageOvercoming Poor Soil Health on the Road to Multi-Species Grazing

Overcoming Poor Soil Health on the Road to Multi-Species Grazing

In this video from the Capital Resource Conservation District’s “Soil Health Project,” Russ Wilson talks about the challenges he faced when he bought a former crop farm that he wanted to use for multi-species grazing. With poor soil, he could barely grow feed for his livestock. But several years and lots of lime in, he’s got a good system going. Especially interesting is his upcoming exploration of new forages, like bamboo, as an effort to graze year-round and keep his stock out of the barn.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.


  1. The video is great. Good to see someone makin’ it happen and enjoying it. I worry about introducing Bamboo. There are countless examples of invasive species being regrettably introduced. Here on the Gulf Coast two are Kudzu and Chinese Tallow Trees. I don’t want to deny anyone the economic edge they need and surely one could argue that the type of farming we try to practice could offset the harm of invader species if the scientific study was done, but I just want to remind everyone that our small local choices have a greater, possibly lasting, effect.

    • I would tend to agree with Donald as to the invasiveness of bamboo, however, I’ve noticed that we have a neighbor who long ago planted a very small patch of bamboo on the corner of his property. It’s pretty obvious it was planted as a property marker to get to a hidden pond. Sticks out like Clint Eastwood at a rapper concert. But it hasn’t grown or spread that I know of in 5 years.

      Haven’t seen anything eat it, either. 🙂

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