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My First Wonderful Lease – Part 1

By   /  March 13, 2017  /  2 Comments

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In his book “No Risk Ranching” Greg Judy describes how he went from liquidating his cow
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About the author


Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1400 acres of leased land that includes 11 farms. Their successful custom grazing business is founded on holistic, high-density, planned grazing. They run cows, cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, stockers, a hair sheep flock, a goat herd, and Tamworth pigs. They also direct market grass-fed beef, lamb and pork. Greg's popularity as a speaker and author comes from his willingness to describe how anyone can use his grazing techniques to create lush forage, a sustainable environment and a successful business.


  1. Tom Kruer says:

    I want to buy stockers that are weaned from their mothers and put them on stockpiled grass in the winter. I am told that I need to feed hay in the winter in order for them to keep their ruminant warm in order to survive the cold. It sounds like you are feeding only stockpiled grass in the winter for your weaned calves. Is this true? Would it be any better to buy yearlings to go thru the winter on only stockpiled hay?
    Thank you for your response.

    • Greg Judy says:


      We winter the calves with the cows. This is our 11th year of letting the cows wean the calves. If a cow gets thin taking her previous spring born calf through the winter, that tells us that she is a heavy milker. She is culled. We want low maintenance animals in our herd. Heavy milking beef cows cost you money because unless you supplement them with energy in the cold weather, they get thin producing to much milk on stockpiled grass.

      Some winter stockpile is better than others. Our stockpile is primarily Kentucky 31 Fescue which stays partially green all winter long. Our cows and calves thrive on this winter stockpile. If we are forced to feed our mob of cattle hay for any length of time, their body condition drops. Simply put, most Missouri grass hay is low in quality when compared to freshly grown fall stockpiled grass.

      Our coming yearling calves actually do the best of any other age group in the mob. They are getting quality stockpile strips twice per day and a bit of mothers milk to help them along. This bit of milk is not much, but it sure helps the yearlings with their daily energy requirements.

      I know from my early custom grazing days with stockers, the owners required me to feed 2 pounds of corn gluten every other day to the 400 pound steers thru the winter. The steers were being moved daily onto stockpiled grass. Only time they got hay was if we had deep snow or ice. The steer owner was concerned about the steers losing weight. We grew a heck of a frame on those steers, when they hit spring grass, they absolutely turned on the weight gain.

      Everything that we are talking about here is covered in detail at our upcoming Mob grazing school in May.


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