I read an advertisement recently for a herbicide for controlling weeds in a pasture. It touted the increased grass production to be gained by using the herbicide on your pastures, and presented the data to back it up.
I don’t doubt their findings, but I disagree with the conclusion.
First, no mention was made of any other management changes. The question needs to be asked, “why were there weeds to begin with?” Perhaps the management that resulted in the weed invasion ought to be changed first. Perhaps the product being advertised could be of some temporary assistance, but in the long run a change of management is the only cure.
Second, what are weeds anyway? Did anyone tell the livestock they are weeds? Might there be some lemonade potential in them there lemons? This is something that goes through my mind frequently when I see “less desirable” plants. Goats and sheep are well-known for having a different diet than cattle – perhaps adding a different type of livestock could turn the weed into an asset. If that doesn’t sound appealing, Kathy Voth has a training program for teaching your cattle to eat all sorts of stuff. We’ve given it a try with some success.
We’re not completely against using herbicides around our place. In fact, we have used the actual product in the advertisement, in specific places and for specific reasons. However, we understand quite well there are other tools we can use to reduce or eliminate the need to reach for the jug.
Now, if I could just find someone to run a goat enterprise for me….
In the past couple of weeks I have had the wonderful opportunity of attending a couple of workshops. The first one I attended was a range camp held near Fort Meade South Dakota. The camp is a workshop set up for the purpose of training Ag leaders in range and natural resource management. They covered topics such as range plant ID, soil health, production potential, stocking rates, range monitoring, USDA web soil survey training, and tours of local ranches and their practices.
I came away from this experience getting into the mindset of being able to think of all of the factors that go into an operation.
Looking at soil health (what types of soil you have), having a diverse plant community, controlling weeds with grazing, looking at your pastures and grazing them in range and natural resource management and stewardship of natural resources. These were just some of the things that were covered during the camp.
I ‘ve wondered as a young rancher what would be the best and most efficient way of getting into owning my own ranch. After asking around and listening to a lot of different opinions I have come to the conclusion that it is best to start small. Owning a couple of cows and running with another rancher. That way you can get the snowball rolling instead of just jumping into owning a ranch.
The second workshop was a lecture by Gerald Fry. He is a bovine engineering specialist. I would encourage anyone to go check out his website. He primarily focuses on hormone function, correlated linear measurements, and indicators of butter fat content. It is very interesting to now drive around on the ranch and look for these indicators of hormonal expression and indicators of a good cow. He emphasized line breeding and keeping a good line of genetics in your herd. Not to over cross your cattle. He was a pleasure to sit down with and pick his brain.
“Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.”― Coco Chane
The past couple of weeks have been very busy with moving cows, working calves, cutting hay and starting to get some bales on the ground. So busy I have not had a great opportunity to get emulsified into the stack of books and articles the family lent me
to read and pick through. There is always something new to learn and ways of improving. I would invite everyone to be keeping your eyes open for workshops and camps throughout the summer no matter where you are in the world. It is always a great idea to get off of your operation and your own mindset and either learn something new or look at problems you are having from a different point of view.
Hi readers my name is Sam Newell I come from a little town in Utah named Nephi. I go to school at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. I met my beautiful girlfriend Lauren Wellman in a livestock and carcass evaluation class. I will be graduating with my Bachelor's in animal science in less than two years. After I graduate, I will be attending vet school and starting my own practice if all goes as planned. I will then start my own ranch and get that going so I can retire as an old man, with his dog and his eyes on the skyline. I also plan to have a family, probably should have throw that in there. Who knows where life will take me though! I enjoy anything outdoors. I hunt whatever is in season at the time. I like to fish when ammunition gets too expensive. I like having bonfires and good times around the campfire. I thoroughly enjoy country music by artists such as Chris Ledoux, Garth Brooks, "The King" George Straight, Brenn Hill, Ian Tyson and the list goes on. I would choose a night in a bedroll under the stars over a nice hotel any day.
After a thousand mile journey in my little car " White Lightning" I made it to Rock Hills Ranch. I was recieved the nickel tour and then went to check cows with Luke. There are two internships here on the Rock Hills Ranch; the ranch living internship and the ranch and range management internship. I fulfill the ranch and range management internship and Miranda fulfills the ranch living internship. My duties include checking cows and calves twice a day as well as tagging, checking and fixing fence, range monitoring , bee counting later in the summer and any other jobs Luke or Lyle need accomplished. I have been here on the ranch for just about three weeks now and have enjoyed every minute. I am learning so many new things and am soaking up as much information out of Luke and Lyle as I can.What I really enjoy about this internship is that it is not just learning how to milk a cow or catch a calf it is how to think in a management fashion, how to problem solve and think of things through a hollistic management process (the main way of thinking here on the ranch). They are great teachers and know what they are doing. It is an honor to have this internship.