May 9, 2022

Some Advice for Beginning Graziers

I was talking with a friend last night about our experiences with beginning farmers and ranchers, some of the things they do, and the consequences of those choices. Here are some thoughts for you drawn from our conversation. Choosing an animal breed What should you buy? Well, What will make you money? Don’t choose Icelandic […]

May 2, 2022

Creating an Information System to Get You Where You’re Going

Something funny happened at On Pasture in April. Three OP authors all wrote articles on the same topic without checking in with me or each other first. each article was about some version of record keeping as part of being a successful grazier. That’s why this month we’re focusing on record keeping – or better […]

April 25, 2022

Creating a Grazing Plan to Deal With Drought and/or High Hay Prices

If you’re not facing drought, you’re likely facing higher prices for hay and maybe even reduced hay availability thanks to the rising cost of fertilizer. Either way, you’re looking at ways to make sure you have enough feed for your stock while maintaining soil health and good cover. That’s what a drought plan is all […]

April 25, 2022

Saving Money, and Protecting Soil and Forage Health During Drought and High Hay Prices

Drought and high hay prices have something in common: responding successfully means taking care of soil and forage health. Here I’ve collected tips and principles from ranchers and On Pasture authors to help you think through what you’re managing for and why. Of course a management plan will make all this more doable, so be […]

April 25, 2022

Why I’m Writing About Drought

“A “megadrought” gripping the western United States is the worst one in 500 years, scientists say. And it’s the first to be influenced by human-caused climate change.” Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, April 17, 2020 This year, the megadrought in the West hit 22 years. That means over a third of my life has been spent […]

April 18, 2022

How High Are Fuel Prices Now Compared to the Past?

As John Marble and I were discussing this week’s Thinking Grazier, he asked me to take a look at historic fuel prices and where they were today compared to the past. Of course, based on everything we are hearing in the news, it feels like prices today are outrageous compared to what they used to be. […]

April 11, 2022

Pray for Rain. Plan for Drought.

That’s the advice from the South Dakota Grassland Coalition this grazing season. And this April 7 U.S. Drought Monitor map predicting drought for about half the U.S. is why.   Read on for more SDGC advice on prepping for a drought-driven grazing season. “If we can’t grow grass, we can’t make money. That’s the bottom […]

April 11, 2022

How to Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

Our March article on calving on grass talked about the monetary, health and stress reduction benefits of ranchers discovered. Here’s another way to improve birthing season that ensures more sleep, and less stress. Feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning. That’s […]

April 4, 2022

Lookout for Avian Flu in Your Flock

This week we’re trying to help you solve problems you’re likely to encounter this grazing season. We start with a focus on reducing the impact of hay and fuel costs on your operation. To that, we’re adding some watch outs and ways to prevent your flocks from being impacted by the current round of Highly […]

April 4, 2022

Starting the Grazing Season with the Price of Hay and Fertilizer in Mind

On Pasture reader Richard Moyer wrote me in March about the interesting times we live in and what they might mean for the 2022 grazing season. He said he’d been talking with friends in southern Appalachia about rising fuel and fertilizer prices for the upcoming season. Here’s a sample of what the conversations look like: […]

March 21, 2022

Here’s Why You Should Consider Calving on Grass

Graziers who still think that “Spring” calving starts in late February and early March think they have good, logical reasons. They probably cite economics, and the old “this is the way we’ve always done it.” And I’m not entirely unsympathetic. After all, I used to kid my goat herd in February in the middle of […]

March 21, 2022

The Joy of Doing Things the Hard Way

This week, as I was writing the article on the benefits of calving on grass, I was reminded how resourceful human beings can be. Many folks have already finished their calving season, because for them “Spring” calving starts as early as February. And because calving in a spring that can involve below zero temperatures and […]

March 14, 2022

Get Your Perfect Grazing Recipe Here!

Oh dear! If you clicked on this hoping that you’d find the answer to all your problems, I’m sorry. The perfect recipe doesn’t exist. Unlike baking a cake, there is not a recipe that will get you smoothly from point A to point B. On the other hand, like baking a cake, you can start […]

March 14, 2022

A Walk Through of How to Use Your Grazing Chart

Have you downloaded your grazing chart? Have you started looking at the list of questions that will help you get your planning underway? Do you have estimates for forage production and for how much forage your livestock need? With all that, are you still a little unsure of what the next steps are? Well, never […]

March 7, 2022

Relationships and Good Management Make the Difference

It’s basically two local land owners, neither of which wanted to expand their operation, or couldn’t expand their operation on their own. They just didn’t have the human resources or the facilities to pull it off and so in order to expand their ranch capacity, they partnered together. They pooled their resources and it’s working […]

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