Category: Ecology & Grazing

Just Start

We just wrapped up the Abilene Ranching for Profit School. It was an amazing week with 53 forward thinking ranchers who are challenging conventional wisdom and driving their businesses forward. I was joined by John Locke of Hungerford, TX who served as a co-instructor for the school. John has attended the Ranching for Profit School […]

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The 3 Measures of Success in Business

In nearly 40 years of helping ranchers improve their land, their businesses and their lives, I’ve found that there are three things we need to measure to determine the success of a ranch business, or any business for that matter. They are: Profit, Effort, and Fun. Let’s take a quick look at each of these. […]

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Are You A Superhero?

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s an environmental superhero!  If you are using cell grazing you are an environmental superhero. Of course, no one has to know that, while saving the planet, you are also making your own ranch more productive and profitable.  Cell graziers are environmental superheroes because they stop overgrazing by […]

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Whistling Again

We use key performance indicators to assess the health of a business. Some evaluate economic and financial health. Others measure labor productivity. Still others measure the health of the ecosystem. Last week I added a new key performance indicator for measuring business success to my list. I spent an evening with Craig and Connie French […]

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Sustainability: What’s In A Name?

Maybe it’s just semantics, but I think the words we choose are important. 40 years ago, when I was in college, “sustainable agriculture” was a revolutionary concept. Forward-thinking universities created Sustainable Agriculture Departments. Most farm and ranch kids enrolled in the Animal Science or Crop Science programs while the hippies enrolled in Sustainable Agriculture. But […]

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4 Reasons Why Increasing Weaning Weights May Not Increase Profit

I gotta stop reading this stuff. A recent article in a self-proclaimed “progressive” magazine claimed that July deworming was an often-overlooked opportunity to increase weaning weight and therefore profit.   According to the article, deworming can increase weaning weights by at least 30 pounds at a cost of $7.85 per cow/calf pair. With a market […]

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5 Keys to Quality Cattle

A popular industry magazine found its way to my desk this week. An article that described five essential “wisdoms” for producing quality cattle piqued my curiosity. According to the author, the first key is “Be fanatic about animal health.” Key number two is “Pay the extra money for a good bull and build a reputation for […]

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Is Your Ranch Fire-proof?

The risk of wildfire has always been a normal part of ranching. But today we are faced with a new normal that includes the increased risk of catastrophic wildfire. The number of wildfires hasn’t changed much. There are roughly the same number of fires now as when I was cutting fire lines on a Forest […]

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Boots On The Ground & Eyes Looking Down

I recently participated in a pasture rejuvenation workshop. My presentation on grazing principles was followed by an explanation of a multi-year trial on pasture rejuvenation. I didn’t understand why pasture rejuvenation was such a big issue to the attendees. A well-managed pasture shouldn’t need mechanical, herbicide or seeding treatments to stay healthy and productive. My […]

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How Long is Long Enough?

The biggest mistake people make in grazing management is providing too short a recovery period for plants after grazing. Of course too much rest isn’t good either. In drier environments excluding animals from a pasture long after it has recovered will lead to reduced productivity, dead grass and bare soil. In wetter environments it can […]

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