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

Providing Good Forage for Calving Season and Year Round Grazing

It’s always helpful to hear from fellow graziers about why they do what they do, especially when it comes to discussions of why and how changes they’ve made have improved their profitability and reduced their stress. That’s what you’ll find in this 6:46 video. It’s part of a series from the South Dakota Grassland Coalition […]

July 26, 2021

Aspirin Takes the Headache Out of Establishing Sustainable Pastures

It seems like there is a lot of good research results becoming available right now. In June, we learned how plants develop “memories” to adapt and survive heat stress. This week we find out that native grasses may benefit from a headache cure! Researchers at Curtin University in Perth, Australia have shown how a readily […]

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. […]

June 28, 2021

Feed Alternatives When Drought Puts a Halt to Forage Production

This week’s report on forage and drought conditions in North Dakota provides some good information for everyone suffering from drought conditions, and that includes a large swath of the United States this year. Nearly 10% of the contiguous U.S. is now in “exceptional drought,” the highest for that designation since 2011. Soil moisture conditions continue […]

June 21, 2021

How Plants Can Beat the Heat: Their Memory Mechanism for Adapting to Heat Stress

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” But what if you’re a plant and that’s just not possible? It turns out they have other options. Researchers from Japan have discovered that plants can gain heat tolerance to better adapt to future heat stress, thanks to a particular mechanism for heat stress […]

June 14, 2021

What’s the Impact of Grazing Without Recovery Periods?

This is a little inspiration for thinking about your grazing management and what your goals are.  In this two minute, time lapse video you’ll see how continuous grazing impacts the overall production of a forage grass –  orchardgrass in this case. The plant on the left is “grazed” (clipped) every week regardless of whether or […]

May 31, 2021

Can Cattle Eat Leafy Spurge?

Some time ago, I got this email from Jamie in Nebraska: Dear Kathy, I am interested in your way of controlling leafy spurge with cattle, however, I was informed that leafy spurge was toxic to cattle. I guess my question is how much can they eat before they become sick? I have a 600 acre […]

May 10, 2021

Here’s What Short Grazing Does to Spring Regrowth

As you walk or drive your ATV around your pastures, you may notice differences in plant growth. The reasons for those differences can vary but include irregularities in fertility, last autumn’s stop grazing heights, soils, compaction, rest after grazing and the forages themselves. Continuous grazing can be a contributor to differences in plant growth. Back […]

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 […]

April 19, 2021

A Focus on Soil Health Helps Farmer/Grazier Through Weather Extremes

Forecasters are predicting that extreme weather events are going to become more and more common in the future. This article from Lynn Betts and the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition provides an example of what we can do to “weather” this new reality. You can meet Craig in this 3:24 video where he talks about […]

April 5, 2021

Have You Discovered the Benefits of Canada Thistle?

I have a different feeling about weeds than most people. That’s because I’ve turned them into forage. Read on for the benefits of one of my favorite forages – Canada thistle. In 2004, I developed a simple method for teaching cows and other  livestock to eat weeds. It takes just eight hours spread over seven […]

March 29, 2021

Our Latest Plague: Meadow Voles

I try to keep in touch with our custom grazing clients, maybe call them once a month or so during the winter months. This helps remind me to pay attention to forage conditions here on the ranch and lets them know that I’m thinking about them. Often, these calls include some personal conversations or potential […]

March 22, 2021

Year-Round Grazing Paradise (or at least moving towards that)

Don’t you sometimes wish it was spring year-round? As I write this, snow is coming down towards the tail-end of February, and it feels like forever ago since I saw green grass or a tree in leaf. The long winter almost makes you forget what it’s like to just sweat during the summer. Then again, […]

Translate »