Want your pastures to handle a drought year? Do things the ‘redneck’ way

A handy mnemonic for this ranching method is ‘grass’ — 
graze period, rest period, animal impact, and stock density

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual This is a pretty good explanation of the “general” principles. Now you need to get yourself a pack of Holistic Management’s Grazing Plans and let me teach you how to use them in a way that takes all the “guess work” our of it. If you are the type that can teach yourself by reading, the minute details can be found in the book, Planned Grazing. — jtl

Steve and Amber Kenyon, along with their four kids, keep things unconventional 
on their ranch near Busby.
Steve and Amber Kenyon, along with their four kids, keep things unconventional 
on their ranch near Busby. Photo: Courtesy of the Kenyon family

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersBy via Alberta Farmer Express

The first thing ‘redneck ranchers’ plant is a post.

“That’s why we call it ‘redneck ranching’ — we definitely don’t work in the same manner as the conventional method,” said Amber Kenyon, who operates Greener Pastures Ranching with husband Steve and their four children.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View“You need to start putting fences in and moving the animals around on pasture.”

The Kenyons, who operate a 1,200-head custom grazing operation near Busby, use four grazing concepts when moving their animals.

“I remember them as ‘grass’ — graze period, rest period, animal impact, and stock density,” Kenyon said at the Wildrose Bison Convention in March.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits“If you can remember that, it will help you remember how often you’re supposed to move them and how many animals are supposed to be on your land.”

Graze periods are strictly a measurement of time — the shorter the better, she said.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) “Basically, you want to make sure your animals are not taking a second bite off the tops of plants,” she said. “You can overgraze your paddocks by having 10 animals out on a quarter of land year round. You can also do mob grazing and have a ton of animals on one small piece, but if they’re not out there for very long, you’re not overgrazing.”

Rest periods go “hand in hand” with graze periods.

“With the rest period, you want to make sure the pasture has a chance to replenish itself before you ever put animals back on it,” said Kenyon.

“You’re basically rotationally abusing your land if you’re not giving it enough of a rest period.”

Animal impact refers to how the cattle work the earth while they’re on it. “We think that every piece of land should have animals on it, even if it’s cropland. You need animals to stimulate the soil to get everything moving.”

And finally, stock density is the number of animals in a paddock at any given time.

“You want to make sure there’s equal plant utilization and manure distribution,” she said.

“You want to have enough animals on that they’re all going to take one bite off the top of each plant before you move them, but no more than that.

“You also want to have that manure spread evenly over so that you don’t end up having to go and rake it. You can just move off and have those nutrients go back into the soil.”

By following these grazing principles, the Kenyons have been better able to manage weeds and collect moisture, especially in a drought year like 2015.

“Last year was a pretty hard drought, and I’m guessing this year is going to be the same,” said Kenyon. “Because we leave that residue, we’re holding on to all the snow that’s come. That way, we’re not going to have pasture problems come the middle of summer when there’s a drought.”

In a drought year, it can be tough to balance the needs of the animals with the needs of the land, she said. But ranchers should leave “as much residue as they can cash flow.”

“In the past year with the drought, we did take down our pastures harder than what we would have in a normal year,” she said. “We need to make sure the animals are fed and that we still have an income coming in.

“But because we spent the last 10 years making sure those pastures were in good shape, we can do that for one or even two years. Nature will forgive one mistake. She just won’t forgive the same mistake over and over and over again.”

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
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