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, […]

March 15, 2021

What Do Plant Roots Do for Soil Health?

“Maximizing Living Roots” is the third principle of soil health and it’s focused on feeding the soil. When I first saw this phrase, I confess–it struck me as a bit odd:  since living roots can’t exist without whole living plants, why not just say “maximize living plants?” After a while it dawned on me—if we […]

March 8, 2021

Soil Temps and Grass Growth – What’s happening now?

In his latest issue of Grazing Bites, Victor Shelton paused to think about a question someone asked him: “Don’t you think that the grass seems greener after the snow melted away and is it growing?” Victor’s answer was, “It might still feel rather cool to most people, but it doesn’t take much warmth, especially in […]

February 22, 2021

When your plants talk, listen!

“Ouch,” says the once tall range plant that was just bitten off for the fifteenth time. It says, “If you don’t stop, I’m going to die.” Interesting, plants don’t talk with words, but they do communicate just by their appearance. After all, don’t people also communicate with body language? This plant talk thing is a […]

February 8, 2021

Impacts of Fall and Winter Grazing on Spring Regrowth

It might be early February, but I’m already thinking about new spring forage growth and I guarantee the livestock are too. In the past, we’ve discussed the impact of fall management on the next spring growth and production, but how much impact does it really have? There are a lot of factors that influence spring […]

February 8, 2021

Collect More Sunshine to Grow More Grass

ALERT: It’s science time again and we’re going to show you what you need to know to use your livestock to manage your pasture solar collectors so they’re always catching the maximum amount of sunlight.

January 25, 2021

Synthetic Fertilizer – Where it Comes From and What it Does and Doesn’t Do

This week John Marble writes about the economics of adding fertilizer to pastures, so we thought it was a good time to take a closer look at nitrogen and fertilizer. This piece was inspired by some info John provided about nitrogen and it’s potential impacts. A Little Background In his 1898 inaugural address as president […]

January 18, 2021

It’s Time to Start Thinking About Frost-Seeding Legumes

This is especially for the readers who responded to the survey saying they’d like to know how to introduce legumes into pasture. Enjoy! (And if you haven’t filled out the survey yet, here’s your chance!) Frost seeding is one of the least expensive ways to enhance the stand of legumes in your pastures. It is […]

January 11, 2021

Honey Locust – King of Stockpiles

Do you know how much forage you have stockpiled for this winter? What would you do with 2,000 extra pounds of high-energy, self-harvested feed per acre? What about 4,000lbs? What would that do to your feed bill? How would that change your bottom line? Having that much extra winter forage doesn’t have to be something […]

January 4, 2021

Plant Competition for Underground Real Estate Affects Carbon Storage and Food Production

Thanks to Liana Wait, graduate student, Princeton University Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology for this article. You can see it in it’s original form here. You might have observed plants competing for sunlight — the way they stretch upwards and outwards to block each other’s access to the sun’s rays — but out of […]

December 21, 2020

When Your Livestock Graze Weeds You’ll Have 43% More Forage

I’ve been teaching cows to eat weeds since 2004. Over the years since I first developed the training method, I’ve trained over 1,000 cattle, some flocks of sheep and goats, and even some of Ted Turner’s bison. The method is simple, takes just 8 hours spread over 10 days, and anyone can do it. Weed-eating […]

November 30, 2020

Microbes Can Unlock Soil Phosphorus to Enhance Plant Growth

Phosphorus is a critical plant nutrient. It stimulates root growth, is part of photosynthesis and transferring nutrients through the plant, and without, maturity is delayed and fruits and seeds are few and poorly formed. The good news is that there is lots of phosphorous in the soil, with concentrations ranging from 200 to 6,000 pounds […]

November 23, 2020

Hungry Plants Order Up Iron From Soil Microbes

Continuing with our Thanksgiving theme, here’s how plants harvest some nutrition for their own dinner. Thanks to the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research for their work on this article.   In nature, healthy plants are awash with bacteria and other microbes, mostly deriving from the soil they grow in. This community of microbes, […]

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