June 29, 2020

Take a Deeper Look at Soil Health

Dr. Ray Weil has spent his whole life looking at and learning about soils and how they work to keep us all fed. In fact, he literally wrote the book on soils. He has a message for farmers and ranchers concerned about how their soils affect forage growth and profitability: Think deeper. Think about more […]

June 22, 2020

Updates on Projects to Manage Weeds and Turn a Dying Timber Stand Into Pasture

  I am often reminded of my old professor Dr. Breakey, especially lately as I review the results of two recent “field experiments.” Project 1: What in Tar(weed)Nation? Managing a New Weed Last spring I wrote about a massive invasion of Tarweed that had dominated a large chunk of the ranch. Those nasty plants interfered […]

June 8, 2020

Grazing for Soil Health

Thanks to the folks with NRCS’s “Unlock the Secrets of Soil Health” for their part in developing this article. The abandoned cotton farm Terry and Deborah Chandler purchased was in need of a lot of care. The fields were  highly eroded, and the top soil was absent. Rebuilding soil health was the first thing on […]

June 1, 2020

Water, Minerals and Shade – Where Should You Put Them in Pasture?

Water, mineral and shade – all are important to raising healthy livestock. They are also three things that your stock visit often so it’s important to balance convenience for the animal with the potential problems they can cause. For example, putting them all in one spot can encourage animals to stay in one place causing […]

May 25, 2020

Fences Grow More Grass

Shannon Carmichael thought her husband Bart was crazy when he started fencing the ranch first to half sections and then to quarter sections. “This is not how things are supposed to be done. We ride out, we gather, we calve cattle.” But as the pasture sizes began shrinking, she realized that there was a lot […]

May 11, 2020

Do You Know the Difference Between Organic Material and Soil Organic Matter?

This article comes to us from Eddie Funderburg, Ed.D., Senior Soils and Crops Consultant at the Noble Research Institute. Since we talk a lot about soil organic matter, we thought this breakdown would be helpful. Of all the components of soil, organic matter is probably the most important and most misunderstood. Organic matter serves as […]

April 20, 2020

Plants Feed Microbes to Get the Nutrients They Need

A few weeks ago we talked about how plants can adjust their root exudate to encourage microbes to provide them with more nutrients during times of stress. Today, we’re looking at another way that plants and microbes interact to ensure that plants get the nutrients they need from the soil. While plants can get carbon, […]

March 2, 2020

Finding Credence in a Clearcut Revival – Converting a Dying Forest Into Grazing Land

In addition to being an article about forest conversion, this is also an example of looking at the resources we manage, paying attention to a site’s potential, and considering what is best for our operations. We hope it inspires you to look around with new eyes.

February 24, 2020

To Unroll or Not to Unroll? What Gives the Most Bang for the Buck When Bale Grazing?

The other day my buddy, Steve Kenyon, and I were discussing why concentrated bale grazing is so superior for pasture rejuvenation versus unrolling bales. Steve is the author of ‘The Calendar of the Year-Round Grazier,’ teaches a course on how to graze year-round, and has been bale grazing for more than 20 years. Steve is […]

February 17, 2020

This Farmer Finds Annual Pastures Are a Great Option for Soil and Animal Health

Tim Tobin started planting annuals for two reasons. First, he wanted to transition some crop fields to perennial pastures and annuals were a good first step. He also wanted to smother out the Kentucky 31 fescue in some of his pastures. He liked the results so much, that it looks like annuals will become a […]

February 10, 2020

From Brush to Grass – Conservation Practices Pay Off

Here’s another in our series of “Everything old is new again.” This story by Homer A. Taff, former State Conservationist with the Soil Conservation Service, comes to us from the November 1, 1961 edition of  “Soil Conservation,” a publication of the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service). The practices, which some might […]

February 3, 2020

Revitalizing Soil With Paper

This article comes to us from Sandra Avant and the Agricultural Research Service. While it’s unlikely the average farmer is going to run out and do this tomorrow, it is an example of another way producers might work with their urban neighbors in the future. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is helping to arm the […]

January 27, 2020

What Is Manure Doing For Your Soil?

Would you like to reduce runoff and soil erosion? Would you benefit from soils that absorb more water, making your pastures more resilient to drought? Do you want to prevent phosphorus contamination of nearby waterways? Then you want stable soil aggregates, and to get there you want manure! Soil aggregates are individual soil particles that […]

January 6, 2020

Understanding the Two Sides to Soil Organic Matter Can Help Us Improve Soil Health

This story comes to us from Anne Manning at Colorado State University. It’s helpful to our community because it gives us a better understanding of what is going on in the soil beneath our feet as we work to improve soil health. It turns out there are two different kinds of soil organic matter – […]

December 23, 2019

Meet the Father of Soil Conservation

More than 100 years ago, a young scientist, Hugh Hammond Bennett, recognized that the United States was at risk of losing it’s most important resource – it’s soil. He made it his mission to change the trajectory of agriculture at a time of great crisis and to provide farmers and ranchers with the information and […]

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