Intensive Pasture Management Pays – Everything Old is New Again

This article comes to us from Glen Murray* and the September 1962 issue of the Soil Conservation magazine. This was the monthly publication of the USDA's Soil Conservation Service, today's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The practices of the farmer described in this article remind me very much of practices that we advocate as regenerative grazing today. I've added notes and information to this article to help us compare what this farmer was doing almost 60 years ago to what we're doing today. Murray Webb, a cooperator with the Dixie Soil Conservation District at St. George, Utah, sets a pattern in pasture operations for many dairy farmers of his area. Murray planted his first pasture in 1951, and, to put it in his words, “The mixture was a poor one containing about everything in the book.” The composition of his pastures has changed over the past 10 years, because of different types of grazing operations; but a good balance of grasses and legumes is now being maintained, and "it gets better each year. " The principal species are Ranger alfalfa, ladino clover, Lincoln bromegrass, and orchardgrass. Mr. Webb divided his 8-acre pasture into four 2-acre plots for grazing management purposes. The plots are grazed by the “strip" method. This is accomplished by moving an electrically charged wire “up" the 2-acre strip about 5 rods each morning and evening. This method has proved to be the best so far used by Webb, who is always looking for a better way t

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