PastureMap and Point Blue Conservation Science have launched the first mapping platform that combines soil health and grazing records for ranchers in California. Point Blue monitors soil health on 90 ranches across California. Their research has shown exciting soil health results from adaptive grazing since 2015. PastureMap's ranch management software enables ranchers to see soil health improvements side by side with their grazing management records. As ranchers use PastureMap in the field to plan cattle grazing, they can now see and adjust grazing management decisions that affect long term soil health.
I can't believe it's time to welcome 450 producers to Santa Rosa for Grassfed Exchange 2019: Regeneration Rising in less than a week. As co-chair of the conference, I've been dreaming, planning, and anticipating for a full year. Here are the sessions I'm most excited about:
Our breakout session with Dave Pratt and Deborah Clark on Friday. Real talk on losing millions, pulling out of disaster, and make-or-break decisions that drive ranch profitability.
We have an absolutely packed agenda of national and global speakers. We're also centering the voices of next generation leaders, including Doniga Markegard, Ariel Greenwood, Brian Alexander, Byron Palmer, Nikki Silvestri, Dede Boies, Loren Poncia, Anthony Myint, and more.
Oh hey. Two cold, cold months into 2019 and we're badly in need of some fun during these winter doldrums. Let's go somewhere else. Imagine sunny days, green grass, and rocking this swag on your ATV. The neighbors will either be confused, still clueless, or jealous of your sweet threads.
Vote for your favorite T-Shirt slogan, or submit your own. We'll tally up the winning votes and favorite audience submission (crediting you, of course!) and print these in time for spring.
We'll also have the winning T-shirts available at The Grassfed Exchange: Regeneration Rising in Santa Rosa, April 3-5, 2019. Register now to hang with a community of 300+ grazing nerds like you in the rolling foothills and wine country of Sonoma. You deserve it.
[UPDATE]: Yes, these shirts will be sourced locally. We'll want to direct this community's dollars to regenerative fiber as our fiber producers need love too. If you have a recommendation for apparel makers, ping us.
I sat down to nerd out with Clay at Working Cows Podcast last week. We talked about what we're seeing at PastureMap from the ranch businesses we serve. I shared a few of the best ranch management practices that we're seeing from the ranches that we serve.
Now it's an unseasonably cold winter (albeit nothing compared to the Midwest) and I was a little sniffly to start. But be forewarned - when I get warmed up, I talk fast! :)
Click here to listen to PastureMap on the Working Cows Podcast.
Though the days might still be short and cold, it's the time of year when folks are pulling out their grazing charts, sitting down with a strong cup of coffee, and planning out the new season. You might be wondering how all your records from PastureMap carry over from one season to the next.
"Good Monday morning to all you critter and land loving folks..." is how the Working Cows blog starts off every week. At last, something to get you through every winter Monday this time of year.
Husband and wife team Emry Birdwell and Deborah Clark manage 5,000 head of stocker cattle in a single herd on the historic 14,200 acre Birdwell and Clark Ranch in north central Texas. Through Holistic Management and adaptive grazing planning, they’ve achieved a stocking rate nearly twice the average for their area and greatly improved soil quality, species diversity, water quality and pasture productivity on the ranch.
When it comes to planning for next grazing season, having a grazing plan is critical preparation. Everyone can benefit from grazing planning. You don't have to be a adaptive grazing expert to use a grazing chart.
But getting started with a grazing planning chart can be an intimidating project. If you're planning a grazing chart for the first time, all the cells to fill in with ADAs, ADs, rest periods, AUs can get your head spinning before you even begin.
A grazing chart is a living document. It's not a set-it-and-forget-it one time deal. Use the grazing chart as a guiding tool to think through key grazing decisions before cattle hit your pastures, and to make decisions during the season. This is the most powerful part of a grazing chart!
Use the grazing chart effectively, and it will make you better at grazing management every step of the way.
Five steps to planning with a grazing chart
When it comes to grazing management, the basic questions are always the same. How many cattle to stock? What's my stocking rate and carrying capacity on these pastures?
Many producers have been running a set stocking rate for years and never think about their stocking rate or carrying capacity. But when you start doing adaptive grazing or planning on a grazing chart for the first time, the grazing math can quickly feel complicated.
You might wonder: How long should I graze cattle in each pasture? How do I measure carrying capacity in adaptive grazing? What is an AUM? What is a Stock Day/Acre (SDA)? Is it the same as an Animal Unit (AU)? SDAs, AUs, ADAs....all these acronyms can be confusing.
Grazing management is a function of grass, cows, and time. Whether you're rotational grazing, trying out adaptive grazing, or into management intensive grazing, the basic grazing math is very similar.