Adding More Forage and Reducing Hay Feeding – How a Montana Rancher Did It

We shared this story from the Montana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service last year about this time to get us all thinking about what we can do during the off season to improve things in the Spring. We hope it helps your 2019 grazing season be even better! It's these kinds of producer stories that you'll hear at this year's National Grazing Lands Conference. These events only happen every other year, so we hope you'll be able to join the On Pasture crew for this one in Reno. Register before October 16 to get the best price - $395 for you, and then bring a friend or spouse for just $175. Hurry! Registration goes up to $475 on October 16! When the Wessel family bought their ranch north of Lavina, Montana in 2008 they started by assessing what improvements were needed. “It was obvious from the start that we were going to need more water,” said Scott Wessel, rancher. “We called NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) to see what type of help we could get.” NRCS did an inventory of the ranch, developing a grazing management plan with the Wessels that included a system for rotational grazing and stockwater tanks to support cattle in every unit. Wessel said the plan laid the ground work for everything that followed. “NRCS helped me map out everywhere water tanks would go and how the cattle would rotate,” he said. In what Wessel referred to as phase one, he installed 12 water tanks and electric fence to divide pastures. After the first year

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