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Turning Soil-Poor Cropland Into Healthy, Profitable Pasture

By   /  July 10, 2017  /  3 Comments

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We first shared this video from the Capital Resource Conservation District’s “Soil Health Project,” in July of 2015. In it, 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.

Wilson Land & Cattle Co. is a 220-acre small family farm w/130 acres pastured with multi-species of livestock (Cattle, Sheep, Goats, and Custom Grazing). The low-input farm emphasizes innovation and adaptive management to keep livestock on pasture 300 days per year, and to keep the soil covered so that livestock, forages, and “below ground livestock” healthy. 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.

Tablet readers, here’s your link.

Russ has gone on to share his experience at conferences and workshops. If you’d like to learn more, check out the Advanced Grazing School at Wilson Land and Cattle on August 9, 2017. Russ will share lessons learned, and will be joined by the Grass Whisperer, Troy Bishopp, speaking about using grazing charts and planning for winter grazing, and by Sjoerd Duiker speaking about how the combination of cover cropping and high stock density grazing can increase profit. Get there early for the 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. pasture walk and to set fence and move livestock. Call Tim Elder at 814-226-8160 x 125 for more information.

 

natglc-logo-1Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition for making this article possible. Click on over to see the great work they do for all of us. Thank them for supporting On Pasture by liking their facebook page.

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About the author

editor and contributor

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she’s not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

3 Comments

  1. Tim Elder says:

    Online registration is also available at http://www.pennsoil.org/ Shop

  2. John says:

    I am having a hard time getting to the Aug 9, 2017 advanced grazing school with wilson land company. this sounds good but i can not get to it. Please help
    ttps://i1.wp.com/onpasture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Russ-Wilson-Grazing-School.jpg?resize=768%2C994t find a link to it.

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