Steps to a Healthy Ranch–Part 1

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Did you know that a healthy ranch starts at the soil and plant level?  Without a healthy ecosystem the ranch will suffer.  Your livestock may be the best money can buy and you may have the fanciest pickup in the neighborhood, but if your soil and grass are in decline, it is sure as shootin’ that your livestock will follow. … Read more »

Prairie Dogs and the Plague

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Prairie dogs.  We hate them.  We love them. These burrowing rodents live all across the Central and Western United States’ grasslands.  They create large colonies that greatly reduce forage production on lands that are typically used for domestic livestock grazing.  Because of this, population explosions tend to cause consternation for ranchers. There are actually 5 species of prairie dogs: black-tailed,… Read more »

June: A Recap

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June was a busy time for me. It was filled with ranch visits to do rangeland monitoring, setting out weather stations, and hosting plant ID field days. Rangelands are managed for many uses, including livestock production. I work with many ranchers and one of the biggest things I stress is rangeland monitoring. It has been said that “you can’t manage… Read more »

Keep Rangeland Healthy by Managing Early Spring Grazing

Wyoming was hit with a major wet spring snow storm this week.  Prior to the storm, rangeland grasses were really starting to put on growth.  Once the storm clears on out and temperatures rise, the added moisture will push grass growth even faster.  With all that growth and harvested winter feed in decline, the need to get livestock out on… Read more »

Grazing Plant Communities

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When you look across a landscape, in the spring and summer you may notice that plant communities change based on elevation, slope, and landscape position.  This can be explained further when you consider the soil type and localized climate of a specific site.  Climate and soil texture and structure play a large role in the kinds and amounts of vegetation… Read more »