Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomePasture HealthForageGreg Judy Talks Drought and Silvopasture

Greg Judy Talks Drought and Silvopasture

Greg Judy takes us on a 4:16 tour of one of his pastures on a typical hot summer day in central Missouri with a heat index of 105. It’s the second year in a row with a summer drought. While others are selling off their whole herd, Greg and Jan Judy are managing to keep their cattle and keep them fed. Greg describes the management that makes that possible, including his silvopasture, and how he uses honey locusts for forage and shade to reduce the lignin value of forages so that they’re more digestible for his cattle. He also reminds us that when we run into drought, we need to change pasture recovery times and cull our herds.

In the market for a bull?

Part of Greg and Jan Judy’s success is the herd of South Poll Cattle they’ve created. Though the South Poll was bred for the hot humid south, their range is expanding and Judy bulls are doing well from Utah all the way to the east coast and from Nebraska all the way down to the Mexico border. He’s even had several producers doing well with them in southern Minnesota. If you’re interested, you can learn more about the bulls and how they’re raised here.


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Greg Judy
Greg Judy
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. Thanks for an excellent video. I think silvo-pasture is an excellent idea. I would be wary of honey locust trees. Deer and cattle love those pods. I believe (no expert) that the pods contain honey locust seed and the ruminants do an excellent job of spreading the trees. So good, that while deer hunting the past few years I’ve seen pastures lost to thick stands of honey locusts. The thorns are wicked and the trees are hard to kill. thanks again.

    • Bill you are absolutely right about honey locust trees spreading. With proper management we are controlling them. Our sheep devour the smaller trees before they get a chance to hardly grow. Its best to have an animal that will eat it and produce healthy meat from it.

      Honey locust groves are considered “Honey Holes” for deer. They can attract deer better than a food plot and the beans last all winter long for valuable winter feed.

      I labored for many years cutting and painting costly herbicide on these trees. I got pretty good at killing them. Now we just control the ones we don’t want with livestock that eat them, while making money from trees that used to cost us money to eradicate. It all comes back to management of our resources.

      • Do you know if the sheep will eat the thornless honey locust tree or just the thorny kind? Love your blog!

        • Elizabeth,

          Our sheep will aggressively ho after all Locust trees. We have been coppicing them for years and grazing the new tree sprouts. The baby Thurn trees are the first thing they eat when turned into a new pasture.

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