November 1, 2021

Winterizing Your Grazing Infrastructure and Some Winter Water Tips

Hopefully we’re not too late getting this to you. But even if you’ve seen the first flakes of winter, it’s not too late to make sure you’re ready for all the flakes to come.

October 25, 2021

Grazing Cornstalks? Beware of Nitrates!

Thanks for this article to Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension Beef Educator and Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Specialist. Cornstalk residue is a tremendous resource for fall and winter grazing; however, this year care needs to be taken in grazing drought stressed cornstalks due to the potential of high nitrates in the feed. Cattle prefer […]

September 20, 2021

Rising CO2 Levels Threaten Dung Beetles

Extreme weather conditions, as seen in recent flood, drought and fire events worldwide, are some of the most obvious ways in which rising atmospheric CO2 levels are changing our world. But there are some serious effects that CO2 is having on our ecosystems that are less easily observed. A new study led by Wits University […]

September 13, 2021

Nitrate and Prussic Acid Poisoning – It’s That Time of Year Again

Here is our annual reminder that drought and potential weather changes can cause increases of nitrates and prussic acid in some forages. This article from Jill Scheidt, University of Missouri Extension, tells us what to look out for. I’ve added some charts and testing information as well as links to addtional On Pasture articles to […]

August 23, 2021

Living Crop Mulch Feeds Livestock and Improves Soil Health and the Bottom Line

Thanks to Scott Elliott, ARS Office of Communications for this article. Who doesn’t like a two-for-one deal, or a double-double, win-win? A team of USDA scientists in the upper Midwest is working on a double-cropping system that is showing promise as a way to improve a farmer’s profit margin by growing cattle feed between rows […]

August 9, 2021

Wild Pigs’ Climate Impact is Greater Than a Million Cars

By uprooting carbon trapped in soil, wild pigs are releasing around 4.9 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually across the globe, the equivalent of 1.1 million cars.   An international team led by researchers from The University of Queensland and The University of Canterbury have used predictive population models, coupled with advanced mapping techniques […]

August 9, 2021

Cattle Are Losing Adaptations to Their Specific Environments

Researchers have uncovered evidence showing that cattle are losing important environmental adaptations, losses the researchers attribute to a lack of genetic information available to farmers. After examining genetic material stretching back to the 1960s, they identified specific DNA variations associated with adaptations that could one day be used to create DNA tests for cattle — […]

July 12, 2021

Alfalfa: A Winner for Producers and the Environment

Here’s some good news about how alfalfa can feed our livestock and our soils. Thanks to Scott Elliott, ARS Office of Communications, for this story. Alfalfa has a long history as the go-to feed for farm animals and poultry. Aquaculture has also discovered the power of alfalfa by refining it into a high-protein fish food. […]

July 12, 2021

Alternative to Antibiotic Created to Combat a Major Poultry Disease

Thanks to Autumn Canaday of the Agricultural Research Service for this article. Researchers at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and US Biologic, Inc., have developed an oral solution to an antibiotic alternative that fights against poultry coccidiosis, a disease that costs the poultry industry $3.5B in annual losses worldwide. Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease that […]

July 12, 2021

Test Your Knowledge of Management Practices That Affect Dewormer Resistance

Thanks to Michelle Arnold for this excellent article! There are many important diseases in sheep and goats but none are as common or threaten the herd health as much as internal parasites (worms). Although there are many types of worms that may contribute to a parasite problem, the blood-sucking barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) is […]

June 28, 2021

New Vaccine Cocktail Protects Cattle from Johne’s Disease

A few months ago, I shared a two-part series on Johne’s disease. I talked about the disease itself, and my personal story of losing most of my research goat herd to it back in the early 2000s. It’s a devastating disease, and so this news, that scientists are closing in on a vaccine to prevent […]

May 17, 2021

Study Shows Grasslands Are More Reliable Carbon Sinks Than Forests

Thanks to Kat Kerlin and the University of California, Davis for this article. Note that the study provides recommendations about carbon markets specific to California, but these recommendations could be extrapolated to other markets as well. A study has found that increased drought and wildfire risk make grasslands and rangelands a more reliable carbon sink […]

May 17, 2021

Predatory Soil Bacteria Hunt Like Vampires and Wolves, Helping Move Carbon Through the Soil

Scientists studying soils are working hard to help us understand what’s going on underneath our feet. It looks like some of what’s happening is a lot like what happens above ground, only on a microscopic scale, with predators hunting and eating prey. While we’ve known about these interactions, we now know that it is part […]

May 3, 2021

Dancing Roots – The Secret of How Plants Push Through Compacted Soils

In the past we’ve written about research that shows plants are better at reducing soil compaction than subsoilers. But how do can they do that? Well, today’s story gives us the answer courtesy of researchers at Duke University. Thanks to Robin Smith and Veronique Koch for this excellent story! Be sure to watch the roots […]

April 26, 2021

How Rising Temperatures Affect Plants’ Ability to Survive

Thanks for this article go to Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor, University of Illinois News Bureau Agricultural scientists who study climate change often focus on how increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will affect crop yields. But rising temperatures are likely to complicate the picture, researchers report in a new review of the topic. Published in […]

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