August 8, 2022

Ecosystems Are Becoming Less Efficient at Absorbing CO2

Note from Kathy: We live and work in a very complex system that doesn’t always correspond with some of the simple explanations I’ve encountered in the grazing world. I believe that the more we know about what is happening, the better decisions we can make, and that’s why I share higher degrees of complexity with […]

August 8, 2022

Forage Quality is Declining and Grasshoppers and Livestock Aren’t Happy

Something strange is happening to grasshoppers at the Konza Long-Term Ecological Research site in Kansas – they’re disappearing a little at a time. For the past 25 years, their populations have declined 2% per year. That doesn’t seem like much, but as Michael Kaspari, a research professor at the University of Oklahoma says, “It’s like […]

July 11, 2022

Increased CO2 in the Atmosphere Increases Weeds. Weed-Eating Livestock Could Be a Solution

Some years back, I went to a meeting in Denver sponsored by the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. I don’t remember the exact title, but it was something about how ranchers could adapt to a changing climate. Scientists explained what their research was telling them about plant responses to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, and they shared […]

June 27, 2022

I’ve Got This Weed In My Pasture. What Does It Tell Me About My Soil?

You may have seen this On Pasture article before, but since this month we’re focusing on weeds, I thought you’d like to see it again. Enjoy! Can weeds tell you about soil health issues? Well, yes and no. I’ve got a lot of experience with weeds since I’ve spent the last 17 years teaching cattle, […]

June 13, 2022

I Know You Paid A Lot of Money to Manage Weeds, But It Just Doesn’t Work

That’s pretty much what the research, and a decade of experience has shown me about using herbicides to control weeds. More about that, plus an alternative that actually works.

June 13, 2022

Can Cows Eat Woolly Croton (Goatweed/Doveweed)?

When I was in Grapevine, Texas for a conference several years ago, lots of folks asked me if they could use my training technique to teach cows to eat Woolly Croton. Woolly Croton (Croton capitatus) is also known as goat weed or dove weed, because dove, quail and turkeys love the seeds it produces. That […]

May 23, 2022

Managing for All Five Soil Health Principles

Even if you don’t have the same kind of operation the Neuharth’s have, I think you’ll enjoy their story. Their farm is an example of understanding the five soil health principles and then implementing management practices to meet every principle. Best of all, they’re including the next generation in the process and young Johnathan can […]

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 11, 2022

How To Determine Your Recovery Period: The Magic Of Thirteen

Focusing on to two basic concepts is the best way to become a successful grazier: Graze Period and Recovery Period. The Graze Period is the time animals are left in a paddock. The proper graze period ensures you get the most out of your forage without allowing your animals to re-graze new growth. The Recovery […]

March 21, 2022

How Much is Fed Hay Worth as Fertilizer?

  Have you ever stopped to think about what the dollar value of the nutrients in the hay are worth as fertilizer once they have been processed by the cow? Here’s some math to provide an answer: Mature cows at maintenance should excrete 100% of the nutrients they consume in terms of nitrogen, phosphorus and […]

March 7, 2022

How Much Forage Do I Have?

This month we’re focused on planning for the upcoming grazing season. Last week, we gave you free, downloadable grazing charts along with a list of questions you can ask yourself to get started adding information to the chart. This week, we’re giving you some more background to help you answer those questions. In this one […]

February 21, 2022

Understanding Plants’ Heat Stress Response Could Lead to Improved Resilience

As a result of a changing climate, the past few decades have seen increased incidences of heat waves with record highs around the globe. In fact, July 2021 was the hottest month ever documented on the planet. In the U.S., the mean temperature was higher than the average for July by 2.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and […]

January 24, 2022

Alfalfa or Clover? Adding Quality Forage to Your Pasture

Reader Question: Is it possible to overseed alfalfa into existing permanent pasture? We have clover that is coming in but alfalfa greens up faster in spring, survives our summer heat and lasts longer in fall. I was thinking adding about 10% alfalfa might be a huge improvement. We need higher quality feed for our sheep […]

January 10, 2022

Tips for Adding Soil Fertility While Weathering High Fertilizer Prices

One of the bigger challenges for this season is going to be fertilizer costs. If you have “stockpiled” some soil fertility in your pastures and hay fields, then you certainly look pretty smart right now. Banking some fertility is easier to do on pastures than it is on hay fields. The majority of nutrients on […]

December 20, 2021

Grazing In The Sweet Spot

Grazing in the Sweet Spot is a phrase I have been using for over a decade. Until the last few years I have only used that term when talking to myself. I didn’t have a good handle on how to explain it to others. Now that I have thought about it for a number of […]

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