June 28, 2021

Using Wood Ash to Improve Pasture Soils and Forages

Graziers in many parts of the country often deal with acidic soils that are low in several nutrients. In many parts of the United States and Canada, farmers could improve their pastures by occasionally applying wood ash. Wood ash is a byproduct of several industries that burn wood for energy to make electricity, steam, or […]

June 21, 2021

UH-OH! I’m running out of grass! What should I do?

First off, let’s not panic.  You have options for stretching your forage supply.  One or a combination of the options below could improve forage utilization and your production. While these suggestions are best for folks in my neck of the woods (Tennessee) by contacting your local NRCS or Conservation District, or your extension agent, you’ll […]

June 14, 2021

What is the Best Cow?

The best cow I ever bought was a real beauty. Her name was Miss Unaweep Rafter 145, and she came with some fancy registration papers and a bull calf at her side that my mother thought could be our next herd sire. I know old Unaweep was a good cow. She must have been – […]

June 7, 2021

Fencing Solutions You’ll Like

From June of 2016, an article that’s always timely. It’s that time of year when you’re putting up fence, taking it down and wondering if there’s a better way. We thought we’d help out with some suggestions. Then, add your own ideas in the comments. Your fellow farmers and ranchers can use all the fencing […]

May 31, 2021

Weeds Are NOT the Problem!

In the last few weeks I have attended a couple of field day, farm tour type of affairs. To my knowledge none of them were sponsored by any of the chemical companies directly, but listening to the folks putting on these things you could very easily believe were in the employ of these companies. At […]

May 24, 2021

One Grazier’s Experience With Ultra-High Stock Density Grazing

Increasing the density of animals on a piece of pasture changes grazing behavior, and is one tool graziers can use to meet certain vegetation goals. From May of 2016, here’s what Steve Freeman learned when he increased stock density, and what it’s good for and when it might not work as well. Until July of […]

Here's the pasture as the cows arrive

May 17, 2021

Principles for Grass Fed Success

We first ran this piece in November of 2015. It’s from a farmer with actual experience raising grass fed beef, who is also a very talented New York Times Best Selling author. Read to the end for links to my favorite book. I’ve been raising grass fed-and-finished beef for nearly twenty years, and I direct […]

May 10, 2021

Hasnolocks and the Three Pastures – a Parable About How Graziers Change

You can lead a farmer to pasture but you can’t make him change. Which of these farmers are you? And do you have a reason to change your mind? (Thanks to Katharine Brainard for illustrating the story.)

May 3, 2021

This Year’s Drought Outlook and What to Do About It

The US Weather Service has issued its drought prediction for the next 90 days and for some of us the news is not good. In fact, for some of us, the news is even worse than last year when Kathy and I shared this information with you. So here, updated from April of 2020 is […]

April 26, 2021

How to Hand Raise Goat Kids

I first published this story in November of 2017. It’s full of great lessons about caring for young animals and for those faced with hand-raising a lot of baby goats or lambs, the early weaning feed recipe is a life saver. There are a number of reasons you might be raising goat kids by hand. […]

April 19, 2021

Ideas for Promoting Grazing as an Ecosystem Service

In this week’s article about how crop growers and livestock producers can cooperate to benefit each other, I lay out the keys to developing a successful agreement. It reminded me of this article from April of 2013 on the importance of the ecosystem services that grazing can provide, and how we can work together for […]

April 12, 2021

Pasture Management for Nutrients and Preventing Parasite Problems in Small Ruminants

Thanks to Kim Cassida for this great piece. Here she focuses on practices for small ruminants, but the principles work for cattle as well. A common question among new small ruminant producers is “which forage is best for my animals?” The answer isn’t only about nutrients, but also involves parasite management and sustainable forage production. […]

April 5, 2021

Inspiration for Making Good Grazing Management Decisions

Here’s a flow chart that will help you see the future when you’re trying to make tough decisions.

March 29, 2021

What You Do This Spring Impacts Your Whole Grazing Season

These tips from Troy were timely in 2014. They’re things we probably need to be reminded about every year! Enjoy! Believe it or not, sometime in the very near future you will be turning animals out to pasture. Some of you will have a plan and decide when it’s the right time for the land […]

March 22, 2021

Ten Steps to Better Pastures and Grazing

As an extension educator at the county level, I read a lot of publications about the use and management of pasture and hay resources. My clients read the same publications and many still hesitate to try new grazing practices. Producers often believe a new practice will not work for them. Many farmers get enamored by […]

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