Texas Tendencies

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Thats just one area. They do the same thing in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming where they have plenty of grass.
Having grown up in SD and now living in MN -- in my experience very few cattle will choose to eat thistles or burrs -- regardless of the grass situation. I've had a few cows that will eat thistles but they are very much the exception. Those animals generally limited their grazing to the very top/flower head.

As far as rotational grazing rules -- they work great on paper or with perfect weather. But when the rain stops/or doesn't stop, the cattle market is terrible, bills are due -- practical and business realities dictate violation of the rules.
 
My Dad had a steer that he bought from a man who basically grazed clear cuts on the Washington coast. We had a picture of this steer standing in belly deep grass with his head through the fence eating trailing blackberry vines that were on the other side. Where he came from the whole herd ate of lot of blackberry vines in those old clear cuts.
 
My Dad had a steer that he bought from a man who basically grazed clear cuts on the Washington coast. We had a picture of this steer standing in belly deep grass with his head through the fence eating trailing blackberry vines that were on the other side. Where he came from the whole herd ate of lot of blackberry vines in those old clear cuts.
Yep! In addition to Kudzu and honeysuckle, my Corrs love the blackberries!
 
Having grown up in SD and now living in MN -- in my experience very few cattle will choose to eat thistles or burrs -- regardless of the grass situation. I've had a few cows that will eat thistles but they are very much the exception. Those animals generally limited their grazing to the very top/flower head.

As far as rotational grazing rules -- they work great on paper or with perfect weather. But when the rain stops/or doesn't stop, the cattle market is terrible, bills are due -- practical and business realities dictate violation of the rules.
 
There's been recent research on how epigenetics determines what cattle choose to eat. They're just barely scratching the surface as they will add things to their diet just from changing up their stockmanship. Doesn't matter if I'm in South Dakota, California, Texas, Mexico, or Australia, they diversify their diet on the third day of an IMG school. Sunday will be the magic 3rd day to see if it works in Saskatchewan.

As far as rotational grazing rules -- they work great on paper or with perfect weather

If that's how you think it works, you're making the same mistake as virtually all of the studies prior to Rick Teague's study in 2009, and you looked at the plan as set in stone. Mexico has had the same drought as far west Texas for the last few years. The guys doing regenerative grazing down there have destocked to 75%, which is still running a cow to 35 acres (without feed supplements or hay.) Most of their neighbors have gone broke as their stocking rates are at (or even lower than) 180 acres per cow.

While all regenerative grazing is rotational, not all rotational grazing is regenerative. If it isn't following soil health principles, which includes adapting proactively to changing conditions, it isn't regenerative.
 
I have leased a bull the last couple of years from a guy up the road 8 miles from me. He usually has quite a few breeds to choose from and charges me $150 per month, 3 month minimum. I tell him what breed I want, he pens them and I pick him up. When the bull is done, I just drop him off in the same catch pen I picked him up in. Great deal for me. I just bought a polled Hereford bull calve that should be ready by February. Might not be leasing a bull anymore. I bought a 4 year old horned Hereford as well. I've gone from no bulls to 2 bulls in the past 3 weeks.
I have leased the last 5 years using charolais bulls. $400 per year and keep them long as I wanted. He didn't mind me feeding the rest of the year and I always have a first calf heifer that didn't breed back as quickly as the older cows. Usually put out may 1st and sent home December when hay feeding started. Switched over this year to Red Bull and bought one
 
There's been recent research on how epigenetics determines what cattle choose to eat. They're just barely scratching the surface as they will add things to their diet just from changing up their stockmanship. Doesn't matter if I'm in South Dakota, California, Texas, Mexico, or Australia, they diversify their diet on the third day of an IMG school. Sunday will be the magic 3rd day to see if it works in Saskatchewan.

As far as rotational grazing rules -- they work great on paper or with perfect weather

If that's how you think it works, you're making the same mistake as virtually all of the studies prior to Rick Teague's study in 2009, and you looked at the plan as set in stone. Mexico has had the same drought as far west Texas for the last few years. The guys doing regenerative grazing down there have destocked to 75%, which is still running a cow to 35 acres (without feed supplements or hay.) Most of their neighbors have gone broke as their stocking rates are at (or even lower than) 180 acres per cow.

While all regenerative grazing is rotational, not all rotational grazing is regenerative. If it isn't following soil health principles, which includes adapting proactively to changing conditions, it isn't regenerative.

Perfect weather meaning some what consistent, or predictable, etc... ie you can make a plan for it.

A lot of people get in to the grazing strategies and it works for a year, two, four, etc until they finally hit a year where they set the record for the most continuous days over 100, ever, or a 4 year drought, etc.

"The class" or "the book" didn't give them a practical application to get through that scenario.
 
Perfect weather meaning some what consistent, or predictable, etc... ie you can make a plan for it.

A lot of people get in to the grazing strategies and it works for a year, two, four, etc until they finally hit a year where they set the record for the most continuous days over 100, ever, or a 4 year drought, etc.

"The class" or "the book" didn't give them a practical application to get through that scenario.

Perfect weather meaning some what consistent, or predictable, etc... ie you can make a plan for it.

A lot of people get in to the grazing strategies and it works for a year, two, four, etc until they finally hit a year where they set the record for the most continuous days over 100, ever, or a 4 year drought, etc.

"The class" or "the book" didn't give them a practical application to get through that scenario.
Anything but perfect weather. As long as you get 4-5" of rain timed right, you can keep building grass on the desert.
 
Rotational grazing no matter how it is labeled is both an art and science. The science is fairly easy to explain and there is a ton of literature available out there. The art is learning how to adapt it to your environment. And there are huge differences in the environments out there. Thus a huge difference in how it is applied. There simply is no one plan or method that works every where or even work the same on every year.
 
Excellent post, Dave. The principles and concepts are the same everywhere. The timing and implementation are different in different environments. A 10" rainfall area is night and day difference from a 50" rainfall area. But the same principles and concepts apply. Those who say it only works in good weather or for a couple of years are showing their ignorance. There are posters on here who have commented about not reducing numbers during the drought, or much less than neighbors and how quickly they're grass came back when rains came. This is real. It is a challenge, but even small changes can show big improvements. If you're not interested, no problem. But trying to convince others is showing your ignorance.
 
Excellent post, Dave. The principles and concepts are the same everywhere. The timing and implementation are different in different environments. A 10" rainfall area is night and day difference from a 50" rainfall area. But the same principles and concepts apply. Those who say it only works in good weather or for a couple of years are showing their ignorance. There are posters on here who have commented about not reducing numbers during the drought, or much less than neighbors and how quickly they're grass came back when rains came. This is real. It is a challenge, but even small changes can show big improvements. If you're not interested, no problem. But trying to convince others is showing your ignorance.
I said that. Explain my ingnorance in more detail.

It is sold to a lot of small producers as a silver bullet. They buy all their hot wire and mess and invest their time and get stocked up then we go in to a 4 year drought and they get told they need to cut their herd by 50% to keep the grazing plan going. They end up back where they should have been minus the money and time spent, and the heartache of going from 10 pets to 5 pets.

The don't tell them that 20" of rain fall is 35 some years and 5 some years or maybe 10 two months out of the year and if it's not in the right months you won't make it through summer no matter what.

The best grazing program I have realistically seen is being flexible. Carry cows and calves you can handle year in and year out no matter what and fill in with calves or holding your own calves when the weather allows. That is a guaranteed way to manage your grass.
 

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