April 19, 2021

Here Are the Minerals Cattle Require and What Deficiencies Look Like

This is an excerpt from information provided by the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada, so naturally it’s focused on cattle. Because sheep and goats have different requirements, don’t use this information for them. We can cover their needs in future issues. Minerals At least seventeen minerals are required by beef cattle and are divided […]

January 11, 2021

Considering Adding Broilers? Here’s a Tool to Help You Plan

Poultry processing regulations are one of the primary challenges for small farms hoping to add broilers to their farms. To give small farms a chance, in many states, there are exemptions for small farms to make. You’ll need to check your local regulations, but here in Vermont, the 1,000 or less bird exemption allows farms […]

January 4, 2021

Good News Heading into 2021

As I was wrapping On Pasture up for the winter break, I ran across some bits of good news that might add to the cheerfulness we all seem to be experiencing heading into 2021. These are things that won’t make big headlines in most places, but you might like them just the same. So, here […]

December 21, 2020

The Beginnings of Soil Conservation and the Regenerative Agriculture Movement

There’s a saying that “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Usually we think of that in a bad way, as if we didn’t learn the lessons of the past so now we’re repeating the same mistakes. But it can also be about forgetting the discoveries of the past, only to reinvent […]

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 16, 2020

Plant Vigor and Range/Pasture Production

This article comes to us from J.L. Lantow and the February 1945 issue of Soil Conservation. It’s a good reminder of how long the principles of good grazing have been around. Merely to be alive is important, but to have abundant health is still more important. This is as true of plants as of animals. […]

July 6, 2020

Flying Snakes

Every day, loads of scientific papers and information of all sorts hit my email inbox. I sort through it all, looking for things that will help make your work easier, more successful and more profitable. This is not one of those things.This is just a really interesting story about snakes that fly, and the process […]

March 30, 2020

I Couldn’t See the Forest…or the Water, For the Trees

After digging a well and running polyethylene tubing all over the place, my intensive grazing operation was humming right along. Cows never needed to walk more than two or three hundred feet to water and things looked pretty sweet. Then the water problem started. During a dry spell my well struggled to supply sufficient water […]

December 2, 2019

Flashing Night Lights Can Protect Livestock from Predators

Back in March of 2015, On Pasture published an article about Richard Turere, a 11-year-old Masai boy from Kenya, who invented a way to keep lions from nearby Nairobi National Park from attacking his village’s cattle. Using an old battery, a broken flashlight, an signal light switch from a motorcycle and a solar panel, he […]

November 25, 2019

Soil Health Principles Part 3 – Keep the Soil Covered

This is the third in our series on soil health principles as presented by Buz Kloot, film maker and Research Associate Professor at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. We’re interested in principles because they provide the foundation for the decisions we make […]

August 19, 2019

If You Want Healthy Wildlife, You Need Healthy Ranches

This article is drawn from a release originally written by Jenny Seifert of University of California, Santa Barabara. Researchers at the University of California – Santa Barbara revealed a clear link between the economic health of ranches and maintaining habitat for the greater sage grouse, a bird that has been the focus of public land […]

July 1, 2019

Best of OP – Great “Grass Farmers” Grow Roots

If you go to enough workshops about grazing, you’re bound to see an illustration that shows how biting off the tops of plants impacts their roots, and how if you graze short enough, the plant won’t have enough roots to rebound and produce more leafy material. In fact, if you’ve been with us at On Pasture for […]

December 17, 2018

Sometimes We Say Unpopular Things So You Can Save Money

From January of 2017, this Classic by NatGLC links to articles that help us consider how best to spend our money when it comes to livestock handling facilities. On Pasture started out the first two weeks of 2017 with two articles we thought were especially important. They were a continuation of Whit Hibbard’s myth-busting series […]

December 10, 2018

Diverse Family Farms Are Important To Us All

This article comes to us from Bob Hoppe of the USDA Economic Research Service. It was originally published to announce the findings of the 2016 edition of the report on America’s Diverse Family Farms. The data he provides are still relevant. I’ve updated it with the most recent report link. Family farms remain an essential […]

July 9, 2018

DIY Flerds – Grazing Sheep and Cattle Together for Pasture Management and Predator Protection

From our June 23, 2014 Issue, the answer to a question we’ve been getting a lot lately. We’ve added the comments that readers posted then. Please add your own experience and thoughts! Flerd:   1.  A contraction of flock and herd. 2.  A mixed-species group of animals that consistently stays together under free-range conditions. When […]

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