As winter wanes and the longer day-length activates the neurons that control the body’s daily rhythms, a grazier’s mind can wander into a pastoral scene of warm breezes, children playing, frolicking animals, dancing microbes, unending succulent forage and a wheelbarrow full of greenbacks. Ever wonder if this dream could become a reality? It all starts with a “why” plan and creating what you want for the future. The sooner the better!
Grazing Plans Are Good For Your Triple Bottom Line
Ray “the soil guy” Archuleta has emphasized, “Our lakes and rivers are filled with nutrient, grazing, and conservation plans, and not crystal clear with understanding. You’ve got to understand: conservation planning is not the goal, it’s the process. You cannot become economically resilient until you become ecologically resilient.” I believe it’s time to dust off that old plan, or perhaps start a new one with your conservation professional, private planner, a mentor or a family member, and chart a path towards triple bottom line improvement.
I happen to believe that plans without some sort of measurement are opportunities lost. I believe that without active monitoring, your habits are more reactive than proactive. You lose some resiliency to handle the unexpected events at the farm and in life. Monitoring tools such as grazing wedges, grazing charts, pasture apps, excel spreadsheets, journals, calendars and the like are essential elements in making quality decisions whether it’s for cows or vacations.
Grazing Plans Help You Deal With Emergencies
The most important use of my 5 dollar paper grazing chart came swiftly and totally out of left field, when my only brother passed away suddenly last July. We had to leave the farm for a week to mourn with our family 3 hours away. Because we had, a plan, and had our forage inventory tracked, we could leave the cows behind in brisket-high grass with minimal supervision and worry, at a time when we were demoralized. If there was ever a reason to keep a decision-making tool, this was it. It proved to have significant emotional, financial and environmental benefits. I’m so thankful to have this process in place for the well-being of all who inhabit our land.
My hope is you will adopt the tools, no matter your personal preference, and achieve the things you want out of life.
Get Your Free Grazing Chart Here
Choose the one that works best for your operation. For a wall-size version, take it to a local print shop. For about $5 they will print it out for you. For most you will need Microsoft Xcel to open the files.
Ten Month Grazing Charts
Full Year Grazing Charts
Morning and Evening Paddock Moves
Troy has some more ideas for tools you can use. We’ll cover those next week.
And how about sending Troy a note to say thanks for all his hard work for all of us.