Pearl Snaps

Stories of a cowgirl living life by her own lights


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Science Finally Measuring Values From Good Grazing Management

A healthy and productive grassland contains a diversity of biological creatures.

It has long been known by savvy graziers that the amount of biodiversity in a grassland ecosystem can be directly linked to how intensely the land is used, whether by livestock, wildlife or some other use.

Intensive use of grassland, through overgazing for example, can lead to declines in biodiversity. Researchers from Switzerland and Germany have discovered it is the rarest species that suffer the most. Their findings indicate that varying land-use intensity may be the answer to reducing these negative effects on biodiversity.

Click here to earn how on my Beef Producer blog, Fodder for Thought.

~ Jesse R. Bussard


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Innovative grazing options for winter

Simms Ranch_GLC_6-17-05_024It’s that time of year again when many ranchers are spending hours in the tractor seat feeding hay to their cattle herds. While that may be the norm for the majority, some ranchers have stepped outside the tractor cab developing their own innovative management strategies to reduce hay feeding and increase their ranch’s profitability.

You can read about two such ranches in recent articles I wrote for Progressive Forage Grower. The first, published in the October newsletter, features Sims Cattle Co. LLC of McFadden, WY. The Sims have been swath or windrow grazing for the past 20+ years. This grazing method has greatly reduced their feed costs and has lead to a reduction in time and labor it takes to feed cows throughout the winter. You can read my interview with the Sims family by clicking HERE.

Jim Elizondo with calvesThe second rancher that I talked with is Jim Elizondo of Crescent City, FL. Elizondo manages a ranch in north-central Florida where he runs Mashona cattle, an African breed. He rotationally grazes the herd during the growing season and during the winter dormant season utilizes ultra high-density grazing to maximize efficiency of forage harvest on stockpiled warm-season grasses. You can read my interview with Elizondo that was featured in a recent PFG newsletter by clicking HERE.

~ Jesse R. Bussard


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Score: Livestock – 1, Toads – 0.

Removing livestock an grazing from public lands still seems to be the go-to solution for environmentalists when it comes to threatened wildlife species. Of course, that isn’t always the answer.

In the case of the Yosemite Toad, recent study results published in the November issue of PLOS One are showing restriction of livestock grazing did nothing to improve toad populations … CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

~ Jesse R. Bussard

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