Fire Up Your Beef Production

"If you have any problems on your ranch at all with cedar encroachment, then fire necessarily has to be a part of your operation. It is the best management practice. Any other way to deal with red cedar is only short-term effective." That's the conclusion of David Engle, Regents Professor Emeritus of Oklahoma State University, as well of many ranchers who have seen the benefits of fire to their own operations. Ranchers who turn to prescribed fire do it because it's a good tool for controlling the trees and brush that can reduce forage for livestock. It's also a tool that works when other options, like mechanical removal and herbicide, don't. As Cody Sanders, a rancher from Woodward County, Oklahoma, says, "We spent a lot of money over the last 20 years cutting cedars and didn't really seem to be getting anywhere. They kept coming back. We've probably been burning about 15 years and you can see a dramatic change in our property, not just with red cedar but with other invasive species as well." Benefits of Prescribed Fire "Fire is not a tool," says John Weir, research associate at Oklahoma State University. "Fire can be used as a tool, but fire is not a tool. Fire is part of the ecosystem process and it is just as important as rainfall on the land." That's probably why there are so many benefits that come from including this ecosystem process in our management. Water Availability Removing brush and trees on the prairie can mean more water. Seeps and springs r

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2 thoughts on “Fire Up Your Beef Production

  1. Goats chomp down young cedars and girdle older ones. Left to dry the dead cedars can increase the fire fuel – if you need that to get a complete burn. Goats can also be used in years too dry to safely burn. The goats will benefit from some hay or graze to go with their cedars.

  2. Cattle given the access to burnt country will also lick up the burnt material . Reason being that , like us , charcoal works in the stomach taking with it toxins , bacteria and some intestinal parasites. The added bonus is the dung beetles bury it assisting the soil microbiota .

    Feeding charcoal/biochar to cattle has the same , if not better results . How do you get them to eat it ? Training …. start by feeding charcoal with molasses and reduce it over time . There’s also an option to supplement them with mineral licks with the charcoal .

    There’s a guy in Western Australia who has transformed his sandy country to a darker , more fertile soil using this method .

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