Justin Morris Tag

Did you know you can do a soil health assessment on your own pasture without having to send in soil samples to a laboratory? And this assessment costs only your time because it requires no special tools. Using the senses of sight, smell, and touch, along with very simple hand tools — a shovel and a knife — you can determine the health of the soil in your pasture in less than 30 minutes.
By Justin Morris, NCAT Regenerative Grazing 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...

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...

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...

During my extensive travels working in pastoral ecosystems for nearly 20 years, ranging from Hawaii to New Hampshire and a lot of places in between, I’ve observed a common phenomenon. Whenever I would see a pasture that was always grazed down very short, I would see maybe two or three species of plants there. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I observed fields where livestock were never permitted to go and again, I would see a few plant species at best. Between these two extremes I found pastures with incredible diversity. So, what was driving plant diversity or the...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Tracy Mumma and Regenerative Livestock Specialist Justin Morris discuss how important it is to adapt livestock grazing strategies to drought conditions. They talk about the need to develop a drought plan, re-evaluate stocking rates, and invest in the future of your forage through careful management when emerging from a drought. Related ATTRA Resources: Regenerative Grazing Managed Grazing tutorial NCAT Soil for Water Project NCAT is scaling up its Soil for Water project to include livestock producers and farmers across eight states. Soil for Water supports a network of farmers and ranchers who are...

When a small grain crop like wheat, oat, barley, or rye is in the vegetative growth stage and prior to stem development, the crop’s leaves are very flexible. Broadleaf weeds like Canada Thistle growing within the vegetative cash crop generally have a stem, which continues to get thicker and stiffer as the weed matures. Combcutting technology uses a series of stationary knives that are set at a specific angle and distance from each other.
By Justin Morris, Regenerative Livestock Specialist...

Regenerative Livestock Specialist Justin Morris may be new to the National Center for Appropriate Technology, but he's no stranger to using grazing as a tool to improve pasture quality and soil health. In this interview with NCAT Program Specialist Tracy Mumma, Justin explains how he first became interested in managing grazing to improve the land resource and discusses how livestock producers can start using grazing as a tool. He goes on to describe what regenerative agriculture means to him and the positive effect that it can have on soil health, environmental health, and producer well-being. Related ATTRA Resources: Justin Morris Biography ATTRA Grazing...