Twice as Many Cows, Twice as Easy

This piece comes to us from Clarence Kelly,* work unit conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service (now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service). It was first published in September of 1962 in the Soil Conservation magazine. This rancher faced a lot of the same challenges many of us face today. His solution was to become "regenerative." Working with what was available in 1949, he found ways to improve his grazing management, grow more forage and improve soil health. Check out how he did it in "the olden days" and then consider what he might be able to do today with our newfangled fencing and forage options. Rancher Ray Smith has a lot going for him today after a dozen years of good land use in Washington's breaks of the Snake River near Hay. Since 1949 he has: • Stepped up his cow herd from 120 to 230 head. • Cut his acreage of poor condition range sites in half. • Increased the number of top producing range sites more tan 12 times. • Established 145 acres of permanent summer irrigated pasture on a once barren, sandy river bar. Smith laid the ground work for these and other gains soon after a Soil Conservation Service technician surveyed his land in the Whitman County Soil Conservation District. The survey, which included reference to a soil survey map and an aerial photograph of the ranch, showed that only 2 percent of the grassland produced at peak capacity and provided maximum soil protection, 33 percent was in good condition

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