Friday, August 28, 2009

Mob Grazing School

My father and I attending a Mob Grazing School in O'Neill Nebraska put on by UNL, Terry Gompert and Chad Peterson....Neal Dennis also attended and spoke. I have to admit I was hoping to learn more, but I need to remember that this is a relatively new practice and although I've only practiced it for 1 year, I probably have as much experience as most, especially considering the numbers of cattle and acres I have utilized. The one thing I took away was how easy it was for Chad and others in that part of the world to build fences and water cattle...only in my dreams. It was like building fence on a golf course only without the trees. The ground was flat and soft. Chad and Neal both took down the fence by unhooking the handle, collecting the posts and then rolling up the wire with the handle still attached. That would never work on my ranch. It is important to not only remove the handle, but to leave the wire through the posts while rolling it up, keeping the wire from becoming entangled in brush and trees, then, once the wire is rolled up, collect the posts. I can safely say that Mob Grazing requires quite a bit more work on my ranch than it does on Chads...simply because of the effort required to build and take down fences. That said, I think our ground will benefit more than theirs from mob grazing....we HAVE to build top soil because we have so little of it.

I am currently moving our cows and calves every day, however the density is only around 40,000 lbs per acre (250 cow calf pairs on 10 acre paddocks). We aren't getting the cows to eat any of the sumac or sprouts and they really aren't even eating any weeds. They are in waist high warm season grass and are simply topping out the best forage...our residual is around 8-10 inches in what we call the south center pasture. We simply need more cattle.

1 comment:

  1. How do you build up to more cattle if you don't have the forage to support it? I guess slowly building the forage through 3-4 day rotational grazing moves is the answer?