How important is it to have cattle out on the land? How important is it that we move our animals every day to fresh pasture? Take a look at these two pictures in the same field. The first is from the spring of 2019. You can see the bare ground; the poor color on the plants indicates a lack of nutrition. This was after years of baling hay.
Then we fenced it.
We added cattle. The cattle grazed it off one time… and then, the picture on the right. That picture is from mid-summer. Most grass pastures in mid summer are short, dried out, and unproductive. But ours came back with lush grass and newly arrived clovers! In one cycle, we took this field from something with marginal feed value to a cornucopia of grasses and legumes for our livestock.
Because we treated the land correctly. Because we grazed it as nature intended.
We moved the cattle to a new paddock every day through that rank, unproductive grass. We supplemented beet pulp because the feed value was low and we had to keep up with nutrition on our animals; but it was worth it. We are regenerating the soil on our farm with our grazing practices. We are feeding the microbes that live below: the earthworms, the spiders, the dung beetles. And they, in turn, fertilize our soil and give us lush, green pastures.
We even see more wildlife. Most farms are taking out their fence rows, while we put more in. For every species of animal that we can make a home for, we encourage eight other species to be here, and that diversity is better for our soil, better for our animals, and better for our customers who buy our beef and feed it to their families.
Exciting things are happening to the land here at Red Timber Ranch. We’ve been at this for two grazing season only now, and the results have been better than we could have expected.