grazing Tag

Did you know that grazing management and driving a vehicle have a lot of similarities? While driving, you monitor the road ahead of you to know whether to turn left, turn right, speed up, slow down, or even reverse direction. You make these changes whenever conditions change, like the road curving to the left, wildlife crossing in front of you, or a vehicle suddenly stopping in front of you. Just like driving a vehicle, adaptive grazing management requires that we monitor the condition of the livestock, plants, and soils to know whether we need to modify our management to keep...

ATTRA has a new podcast series on women shepherds – but why should you care? Maybe because getting started with sheep is much easier with advice from top-notch mentors who openly share their experiences, both good and bad. Maybe because you'd enjoy hearing some funny stories and cautionary tales about sheep. Or perhaps because, even after decades raising sheep, who has ever had a true heart-to-heart with another shepherd without learning something of value?
Linda Poole...

NCAT Grazing Specialist Justin Morris continues his coversation with NCAT Sustainable Agrigulture Specialist Felicia Bell about the benefits of shrubs and trees for livestock production. Often looked upon as a nuisance or unusable to the landowner, shrubs and trees can be a valuable resource for any livestock operation. The first part of the conversation can be found at here. This webinar is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG....

Winter feeding is one of the biggest expenses for most livestock operations. In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Lee Rinehart and NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist Justin Morris discuss strategies graziers can use to plan for winter stockpile during the summer grazing season.
Lee Rinehart and Justin Morris...

Grazing management, whether appropriately or inappropriately applied, has numerous effects on plants, soils, animals, water availability, and the economics of a grazing operation. Some of these effects we can see fairly easily. But many of the effects we don’t ever see because they’re happening where we’re not usually looking – right underneath our feet in the soil.
Justin Morris, NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist...

Do you like to eat fresh food? Do you like variety in your diet? Most of us would probably answer ‘yes’ to both questions. Not surprisingly, livestock crave the same things we do. If that desire is not met, then we get less than optimal livestock performance. This can create health problems for the animals, increase costs, and reduce profitability. So how can we constantly provide fresh food for livestock and a diet that is diverse?
Justin Morris and Lee Rinehart...

NCAT Grazing Specialist Justin Morris talks about the benefits of shrubs and trees for livestock production. Often looked upon as a nuisance or unusable to the landowner, shrubs and trees can be a valuable resource for any livestock operation. This webinar is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG....

Did you know that the most important livestock on your farm are the ones you never purchased and, in most cases, have rarely, if ever, seen? These livestock, along with plant roots, play an essential role in improving soil health, which is the foundation of any agricultural operation. But what is soil health and how does one go about improving it? The NCAT four-part webinar series Advanced Grazing for Regenerating Soils and Enhancing Animal Nutrition begins by addressing this question. 
Justin Morris, NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist, and  Lee Rinehart, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist ...

Did you know that pasture health and flying in an airplane are similar in some ways? If not, don’t worry; you’re not alone. A catastrophic event that happens in flight can resemble how a pasture responds following a catastrophe. Let us explain...

In a new video series: Soil Health 101: Principles for Livestock Production, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Nina Prater makes the case for modeling soil health strategies after nature’s blueprint that produced that situation in the first place. We all know the basic story. Plants photosynthesize sunlight and make sugars. They use the sugars to build leaves and stems and roots and seeds – pretty much everything that makes a plant a plant. But at the same time, they share the wealth by exuding sugars from the roots to feed a “community” of soil microbes and fungi that in turn help keep the...

Mississippi Farmer Jody Reyer, owner and operator of Reyer Farms, shares how he manages his Piney Woods Cattle in order to build soil health. He discusses how he utilizes hay carefully and managed grazing in order to maintain and improve the health of his soil. This workshop is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. This material is also based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2019-38640-29878 through the Southern Sustainable Agriculture...

In this webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Felicia Bell discusses the role of cover crops in building soil health. She introduces managed grazing, different cover crop options, and how these relate to water infiltration into the soil. This workshop is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. This material is also based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2019-38640-29878 through the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward number...

In this webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Nina Prater talks about the five principles of soil health, with a particular focus on livestock production. She gives real world examples of how to put the soil health principles into practice. This workshop is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. This material is also based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2019-38640-29878 through the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under...

For many areas of the western United States and Canada, 2021 was one of the hottest and driest years in recorded history. With temperatures exceeding 110 degrees F and precipitation at one-third to one-half of what’s been the norm, these are unparalleled conditions that are catastrophic in their effect on the land, animals, and people. But what is to be done when nature dishes out severe weather events such as flooding, fire, or grasshoppers that eat every green leaf in sight? Is it possible to not just bounce back from such catastrophes but to bounce forward by rising to even...

Farmers, ranchers, and researchers have come to understand that the functionality of ecosystems on farms is largely dependent on plant and animal biodiversity. Functional ecological processes and services are facilitated by biology, necessitating maintenance of biological integrity and diversity in agroecosystems.
By Lee Rinehart, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist ...

After many different and varied careers, Doug Lair settled into ranching 25 years ago, returning to a legacy started by his great-great grandfather, who passed down a team of mules and the family brand to his great grandfather. I recently had a conversation with Doug about his efforts to create a more holistic system of ranching.
By Andrew Coggins, NCAT Rocky Mountain West Regional Director...

If we’re going to build the health of anything – whether that’s our own health or the health of grazing lands – and we are causing damage by our management actions, then our first priority should be to stop the damage.
By Justin Morris, Regenerative Grazing Specialist...

Chronic human diseases are everywhere these days it seems. Interestingly, there are some similarities between how our bodies respond to acute and chronic disturbances and how grazing lands respond to acute and chronic disturbances that come in the form of grazing, drought, fire, hail and even insect pest invasion.
By Justin Morris, Regenerative Grazing Specialist...

Related ATTRA Resource: Farm to School Sales: Profiles of Ranches Making It Work University of Tennessee Knoxville campus is producing its own 'UT Beef' to prepare and serve on campus. Cattle are produced at UT's Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Greeneville, and brought to the table through an agreement with UT Dining Services managed by Aramark. The beef cattle are raised primarily on a pasture-based system, using intensive grazing. "This model should serve producers and consumers across Appalachia as well as those in other regions with the same ability to grow their own forages capable of supporting a complete livestock...

Three research reports from Practical Farmers of Iowa report on the economics of different aspects of cover crop grazing. Ben Albright, who operates a diversified crop and feedlot operation with his family, tested grazing feedlot cattle on adjacent fields with cover crops and found the practice profitable. In another project, four farmers tested the profitability of grazing a cereal rye cover crop in a corn-soybean rotation and found the grazing profitable. Experienced cover-crop user Mark Glawe experimented with four different cover crop mixes and determined the forage value of each. The research reports are all available online....

This week’s episode of Voices from the Field takes a look at solar grazing, the practice of using livestock to manage the vegetation under solar panels. Sheep are widely considered the best animal for solar grazing, and they are being used in many countries with great success. National Center for Appropriate Technology Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey talks with Lexie Hain, a co-founder of the American Solar Grazing Association. Lexie, who began grazing sheep at solar arrays in 2016, talks about how she began solar grazing and offers practical tips for anyone who is considering the practice. With agricultural land in high demand...