Your Opportunity to Chime in on Greg Judy's Methods

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Tillage (ANY and ALL tillage operations through the soil... including my "no-till drill"... which I call a" vertical till tool"... the more aggressive the tool, the more effective and complete will be its impact) destroys the soil aggregative structure, (same way it does if wanting to build a road... you "till it/shred it/mill it" so it can more effectively be compacted with compressive pressure... getting the air spaces out of it). So you've temporarily (or should I say momentarily... in soil time) "fluffed it up", but you've destroyed the supportive soil structure and carrying capacity.

Beyond that, tillage also destroys the HOME of the biology that builds this structure..., AND it physically destroys the biology itself as well. So not only have you removed the "frame of the house"... the studs that are absolutely essential to support it...................... but you've also killed a high percentage of the actual workers that built and were actively working to maintain and rebuild that house in the first place.

So it all "collapses"... literally... into what we call "compaction".

Grazing too short, and/or returning to regraze too quickly to a pasture before the grass has had ample opportunity to recover and "mature enough" so it has fully developed its root structure, will produce a similar result (even without tillage).
Vertical does retain soil structure better than conventional. I'm like you, I like minimal disturbance. For those of you that haven't already look up Ray Archuleta and a slake test to see what working ground does to structure and water absorbing capacity.
 
Vertical does retain soil structure better than conventional. I'm like you, I like minimal disturbance. For those of you that haven't already look up Ray Archuleta and a slake test to see what working ground does to structure and water absorbing capacity.
Ray Archuleta Slake Test and Rainfall Simulator Test

Ray Archuleta Rainfall Simulator... Larger Scale Demonstration This second demo is done on "slices of soil" cut right from the various fields, rather than using a "table top" scale. Very impressive demonstration.

The slake test primarily shows you the impact that tillage has on the structure part of it. The rainfall simulator demonstrates the impact on water absorbing/infiltration. Both are "negative impacts" as a result of tillage. Both demonstrations are very eye opening. There's more to it than just the impact of tillage... but both demonstrations DO accurately compare the difference between the various "systems of operation".

If you don't have enough "roots" in the soil, the biotic glues provided by roots, which are required to build the aggregates, will be diminished... and so you'll have a more difficult time building and maintaining aggregation. Less roots also = less soil microbes/soil life... these are the "workers" that build the aggregates are dependent upon those root exudates to survive. Row crop mono-crop farming, with a single species of "roots every 30", for example, = less roots, and less diversity of roots. This automatically means less "soil life", and less diversity of soil life.

It's not just about avoiding tillage, ...or "keeping the soil covered with residue", ...and it's not just about using a "cover crop", ...and it's not just about adding livestock to the rotation... it's about incorporating all of these "soil health principles and practices", as much as possible, all the time. THAT'S how nature works at its best, and how it was intended to function. It NEVER functions optimally with a mono-crop, or with "only annual plants", or with "plants only in 30" rows with the rest of the soil kept bare chemically OR with heavy use of tillage. It simply CAN'T function optimally within those parameters. These all go completely against the way that the system was designed to function.
 
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What do you really think about Greg Judy's methods? Just be kind and accurately discuss what you like about his new-novel methods.

Personally, my thoughts.....Greg capitalized and is the master of collecting up low-cost leased lands and growing his herd. His breeding program is a bit sketchy with young bulls inter-breeding...not being separated. Greg is a you-tube contributor and master at Media Farm Funding...kudos to him and his family.

Below are items I found i really liked and disliked with Greg's teachings/methods: (just 4 notable items for me)

A.) I liked Greg Judy's bird houses...for fly-eating barn swallows. It's an innovative solution and a functional build.

B.) I liked his method of not buying steel (tractor's, dozers-toys) as a cost savings...minimal steel as a cattle producer equates to more money in your pocket. Although looks are deceiving he has lots of steel toys, ATVs, Trailers and fancy hay unrollers.

C.) Greg Judy's "regenerative grazing"…what a bunch of bunk! Cattle grazing the land and pooing have always been regenerative, helping to seed and improve the pastureland since the beginning of time. They've always known about regenerating improving land with cattle… there's nothing new about that or his books and training school.

D.) Greg Judy's rotational grazing method using hot wires is ridiculous! The reason people use hot wire rotation with cattle is because they haven't addressed three serious issues:
  • They don't have enough land/acreage to support the cattle's nutritional needs.
  • Or they have too many cattle on the land to support the cattle's nutritional needs.
  • They don't have any real perimeter fencing- w/paddock gating.
Plus, who in their right mind would want to go out every day or 2 times a day and move their wires and cattle- centered on water; either building new infrastructure supplying water or moving water?

All the big successful cattle producers I know Do Not use rotational hot wires….they provide adequate land for each cow/calf pair and build real fences w/ gates and rotate cattle minimally/monthly into those permanently fenced perimeter areas.
 
What do you really think about Greg Judy's methods? Just be kind and accurately discuss what you like about his new-novel methods.

Personally, my thoughts.....Greg capitalized and is the master of collecting up low-cost leased lands and growing his herd. His breeding program is a bit sketchy with young bulls inter-breeding...not being separated. Greg is a you-tube contributor and master at Media Farm Funding...kudos to him and his family.

Below are items I found i really liked and disliked with Greg's teachings/methods: (just 4 notable items for me)

A.) I liked Greg Judy's bird houses...for fly-eating barn swallows. It's an innovative solution and a functional build.

B.) I liked his method of not buying steel (tractor's, dozers-toys) as a cost savings...minimal steel as a cattle producer equates to more money in your pocket. Although looks are deceiving he has lots of steel toys, ATVs, Trailers and fancy hay unrollers.

C.) Greg Judy's "regenerative grazing"…what a bunch of bunk! Cattle grazing the land and pooing have always been regenerative, helping to seed and improve the pastureland since the beginning of time. They've always known about regenerating improving land with cattle… there's nothing new about that or his books and training school.

D.) Greg Judy's rotational grazing method using hot wires is ridiculous! The reason people use hot wire rotation with cattle is because they haven't addressed three serious issues:
  • They don't have enough land/acreage to support the cattle's nutritional needs.
  • Or they have too many cattle on the land to support the cattle's nutritional needs.
  • They don't have any real perimeter fencing- w/paddock gating.
Plus, who in their right mind would want to go out every day or 2 times a day and move their wires and cattle- centered on water; either building new infrastructure supplying water or moving water?

All the big successful cattle producers I know Do Not use rotational hot wires….they provide adequate land for each cow/calf pair and build real fences w/ gates and rotate cattle minimally/monthly into those permanently fenced perimeter areas.
WELL ! the article says : 1)"All the big successful cattle producers I know Do Not use rotational hot wires….they provide adequate land for each cow/calf pair and build real fences w/ gates and rotate cattle minimally/monthly into those permanently fenced perimeter areas". Answer : "Big successful producers" are already rich thus have tons of land to play with ALSO 100% of the big "successful producers " also feed tons of grain and spends a bundle on deworming. So there is that. 2)Also the article states : " Plus, who in their right mind would want to go out every day or 2 times a day and move their wires and cattle- centered on water; either building new infrastructure supplying water or moving water"? Answer ? Whomever is a beginner and/or a person that is NOT lazy and actually wants to ranch and is willing to learn a skill. 3) If one wants to see cattle as entertainment then do not rotate them and feed grain and deworm like crazy. Yes increasing the carrying capacity of the land IS the result of rotation with wires. If one is very wealthy to start with and just wants to play cowboy , then go for tons of permanent fencing BUT if one is building wealth rotational wires is the way to go.
 
You can go extreme either way. "For ME", I have 3 strand hi-tensile parameter fencing with 1 strand hi-tensile divider fencing for paddocks. I start off giving the herd a whole paddock for maybe 1 day in the early spring. Keep in mind. I am talking Upstate NY and we grow GRASS (a lot). By the time I am grazing paddock 4, it may be taking 2 days to eat a paddock down. So, it "normally" would take about 3 -4 weeks to graze the 11 paddocks quickly down. By the time I return to paddock #1, it will take 2 maybe 3 days to eat down. Some years, I have to set aside a paddock or 2 and hay them, because there is too much grass (this year we had too much grass after the first week. I did hay 1 paddock, but should have hayed more (June 1st ). Later in the rotation, I actually split some of the fields with polywire, letting them have the front 1/2 for 2 days, then take fence down so they have the whole paddock.
Most important (IMHO) is NEVER graze for more than 7 days on the same piece of ground.
Some people (mostly only dairymen - needing super high protein) will rotate daily all season. If that's what works for your operation, go for it. I just do not see any need to rotate your herd daily. We average 2-3 days on a section.
 
I have fields for 3-5 days, 5-7day, and multiple smaller 1 day fields. All depending on how it grows and how many I have to feed.
I use braided wire and step in daily.

What else is a retired Infantry sqd ldr supposed to do beside walk?
It's me time, out in nature, with my cows...
 
I have fields for 3-5 days, 5-7day, and multiple smaller 1 day fields. All depending on how it grows and how many I have to feed.
I use braided wire and step in daily.

What else is a retired Infantry sqd ldr supposed to do beside walk?
It's me time, out in nature, with my cows...
We might be living parallel lives!! I retired as a unmanned aircraft dude...but spent my formative years in the grunts including a deployment as a squad leader. And my rotations vary from 1 to 5 days.
 
The whole point of rotational and regenerative grazing is done to make pastures healthier and more productive... so you can increase stocking levels. Understanding this is not rocket science.

The place I bought in SD had been destroyed by being crop farmed. With a little discriminate planting and moving my animals by letting them tell me when to move them I doubled my stocking rate in two years, which isn't much to brag about since the grasses were so poor to begin with. I wanted my animals bunched so they would work the soil naturally, scattering seed for them to work into the ground before/after I irrigated. I walked the place to manually weed as I went, watching the cows. patrolling for hardware/bale tie and inspecting fences, never going out to only do a single, specific thing but to do anything that needed to be done while I was out. Regenerative didn't mean just grazing to me.

I only had one electric wire after rebuilding all the fences that had been torn down to facilitate crops, and I never moved it. But after having it I would have used electric more and barb wire less.

I rotated about every two weeks on average, depending on forage density and quality. As I said, the cows would let me know when to rotate. They would get bunched closer to the gates in the late afternoon when I should let them into the next field.
 
I have fields for 3-5 days, 5-7day, and multiple smaller 1 day fields. All depending on how it grows and how many I have to feed.
I use braided wire and step in daily.

What else is a retired Infantry sqd ldr supposed to do beside walk?
It's me time, out in nature, with my cows...
Nice comment. I'm an old distance runner and love to walk. Also I find keeping my cows in smaller step-in-post paddocks keeps them tamer — more used to being handled. Keeps me more in touch with the whole herd. Thank you for your service.
 
The whole point of rotational and regenerative grazing is done to make pastures healthier and more productive... so you can increase stocking levels. Understanding this is not rocket science.

The place I bought in SD had been destroyed by being crop farmed. With a little discriminate planting and moving my animals by letting them tell me when to move them I doubled my stocking rate in two years, which isn't much to brag about since the grasses were so poor to begin with. I wanted my animals bunched so they would work the soil naturally, scattering seed for them to work into the ground before/after I irrigated. I walked the place to manually weed as I went, watching the cows. patrolling for hardware/bale tie and inspecting fences, never going out to only do a single, specific thing but to do anything that needed to be done while I was out. Regenerative didn't mean just grazing to me.

I only had one electric wire after rebuilding all the fences that had been torn down to facilitate crops, and I never moved it. But after having it I would have used electric more and barb wire less.

I rotated about every two weeks on average, depending on forage density and quality. As I said, the cows would let me know when to rotate. They would get bunched closer to the gates in the late afternoon when I should let them into the next field.
Increase stocking levels would be one goal/objective as an end result potentially, but there are other objectives. Depending on who you are, what your end goal(S)/Objective(S) is/are is quite variable.

You say you rotate every 2 weeks on average. @Jeanne - Simme Valley uses the rule 'Never longer than 7 days'. The reason she does the 7 day max is that after 3 days of grazing, regrowth on the grasses/forages has regrown to the point that it can be grazed again. What would you choose to graze? Brand new tender regrowth or forage that is older, tougher and about 3-5 weeks old? The point is, when you rotate, you want to graze the plant ONCE and then let the plant rest for at least 28 days WITHOUT regrazing it again. Regrazing repeatedly depletes energy stores in the plant and weakens it, and slows growth.
 
28 days is a minimum. Watch the tips. I try to move every three days or less but my day job gets in the way and some times it's a weekly move.

It's been a dry year. By keeping grass longer soil temperatures and moisture is maintained. I've noticed that in areas where I did the first pass in the spring flush and where cattle lingered too long I see less regrowth.

I also want to see uniform grazing. Some cows are lazy and eat in a small area but right down to the ground. Not just old cows too. Others wander and nibble. I've read that paddock shape influences grazing which seems observable to me too but honestly I don't seem to be able get that uniform grazing without daily moves.

I bought a shade haven and it's been one of the best tools for distributing urine and manure and for shaping grazing patterns. It's not suited for hilly terrain though.
 
greg judy huh?

-don't fertilize... i see him fertilize

-don't bushhog... i see him bushhogging.

-don't buy a tractor or equipment... he has a new cab JD tractor and I think a skid steer, BALE BED TRUCK, etc.

-let the cows take care of those weeds / woods / brush.. he has a guy hired to take that stuff out.

-don't wean your calves.. let the cow do it..... he weans them.

-have 1 big herd, put them all together... . he has multiple herds.

-multi species grazing.. so easy.. cows followed by sheep.. follwed by pigs..!!! oh my!! so easy.. just zip them polywires up in 2 secs and baddabing!

never seen a pig on his place and he has a few set pastures for sheep.. doesn't follow the cows with anything.....

etc. i like some of his ideas and techniques but I bet he's really wrecked a lot of peoples operations / startups
 
Jaime Elizondo's way is where I'm at. Ridiculous amounts of forage!
I have too much here also. Good problem to have. Still move them every 7 days or less. People look at me funny when i move them off 6" grass.
I would strip graze but im on a cane and will get a knee replacement in 3 weeks. I can open a gate but not put up polywire very good.
 
Increase stocking levels would be one goal/objective as an end result potentially, but there are other objectives. Depending on who you are, what your end goal(S)/Objective(S) is/are is quite variable.

Tell me what the other objectives are. I'd like to know an objective that would be more important than increasing stocking levels if someone is in the cattle business.

You say you rotate every 2 weeks on average. @Jeanne - Simme Valley uses the rule 'Never longer than 7 days'. The reason she does the 7 day max is that after 3 days of grazing, regrowth on the grasses/forages has regrown to the point that it can be grazed again. What would you choose to graze? Brand new tender regrowth or forage that is older, tougher and about 3-5 weeks old? The point is, when you rotate, you want to graze the plant ONCE and then let the plant rest for at least 28 days WITHOUT regrazing it again. Regrazing repeatedly depletes energy stores in the plant and weakens it, and slows growth.

Yeah... I think it's also been mentioned that on different places different practices work better than others. @Jeanne - Simme Valley is in upstate New York and I was talking about western SD. Kinda different situations wouldn't ya think? Could I have done things differently? I'm sure I could have. I never tried everything. And honestly, my focus was on improving my pastures and increasing the numbers that could be grazed. And if stressing the vegetation got me more grass in the end... I wasn't overly concerned with stressing the grass.
 
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To be honest, at this point in my career, my chief concern is maximum return for minimal effort.
I hire someone to put up my hay by the roll and purchase any extra square bales that might be needed.
I have cattle born on the place that know the ropes of getting around and where home is.
I try and stay a little under-stocked. My biggest job is working the cattle and getting them to the sale barn.
Feeding in the winter and mowing pasture in the summer are accomplished with a minimum of hassle and are a form of relaxation as much as work.
I have not depended on the cattle for a living since I was in my early 30s. Since then the cattle have provided a way of life.
Land around me similar to what I paid $280 an acre for in 1972 is bringing nearly $10,000 an acre. I try and keep the place looking attractive for a potential home in the country for someone when I am gone.
Farming and stock raising disappear by the day around here. Maybe some of Judy's ideas could turn this around, but I doubt it.
 
To be honest, at this point in my career, my chief concern is maximum return for minimal effort.
That should be every one's goal. It's about revenue per unit of input. 5% more revenue for 50% more work is for the birds. That's exactly what I picture the #s looking like with moving hot wire and pushing cows around trying to teach them to eat trash.

I have yet to see any real numbers worth a flip for either method. It's very anecdotal and talks a lot about soil health and crap.

Show me the money! 🤣 Your soil is healthy as all get out but your kids are starving.
 

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