Sunday, December 21, 2014

Simplified Explanation Of Why Holistic Grazing Works

Many people just don't seem to understand why Holistic Planned Grazing is far better than conventional grazing because the explanation is too complex. After thinking on this for awhile, I put together this short video. One thing to remember while watching this video, is that the areas of brush in it were virtually all grass a short 80 years ago.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Allowing 2,200 Head Of Cattle To Act As A Herd

A recent stockmanship school in Australia allowed me to get much of the footage in this video. The herd included 2,200 head of  branded Brahmas plus around 300 head of unbranded cattle. As participants in this school learned, instilling herd instinct is not a "recipe" you can describe. It is more a matter of changing how we handle cattle and allowing them to come together as a herd.

I need to give a special thanks to Rodger Savory and the folks at NQ Dry Tropics for making this video possible, as well as to my good friend Evelyn A Roper for the background music.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Using Cattle Instinct To Turn Them

One of the things we often forget when handling cattle is that we can use their instincts to our benefit. One of these instincts is for cattle to go around us. When sorting cattle out of a pen, or getting them to go to other cattle in the pasture most of us tend to go to the front of the cow to force them to turn. As this short video shows, this is not necessary.  Using their instinct to go around us lets them turn and go without the stress of us getting in their face.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Underestimation of lost rainwater

If you read my post on Why Climate Change scientists are clueless and were amazed at the amount of water which runs off after a rain, I underestimated it. Actually I grossly underestimated it as the following picture illustrates.

 How much more water would have gone into this ground if cattle were being run as a herd instead of being scattered out? The picture below would have had hundreds of tracks to fill with water instead of just two, which would have captured the water instead of letting it run away.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Calculating the cost/benefit of the Keyline Plow

Before visiting the link from the Circle Ranch on using the Keyline Plow, here are some things to think about in order to see the financial benefits as many people can see the benefits, but think it is too expensive. Yet these same people are busy making diversion dams and dirt tanks which help some, but basically are diverting water or holding it so it can water a few cow and evaporate.

The cost of sub soiling with the Keyline Plow runs $20 an acre, which does sound expensive, until you compare the results. $20,000 put into subsoiling 1,000 acres of ground with scattered grass and forbes will explode with the first one inch rain (remember, that 1,000 acres just received 27,154,000 gallons of water which would have run off). This explosion of grass and forbes will slow the water and make each subsequent rain be more effective.

Grazed properly this can amount to 7 to 9 days of feed for 1,000 cows, or 7,000 grazing days the first year. If one continues to graze properly, the feed will continue to improve for several years and continue to hold its feed value (not to mention the wildlife habitat it creates.) Now lets compare what that same $20,000 will bring with conventional uses.

Dirt Tanks- Will hold water for cattle without producing feed. They will also evaporate water (at a pan evaporation rate of 88” or 55 gallons per square foot) lose 2,395,800 per acre. Figuring the cost of water being .005 cents per gallon, one is basically throwing away $11,979 worth of water per every acre of water held in dirt tanks. If you have 100 acres of water in dirt tanks, you are basically throwing away $1,197,900 worth of water each year.

Diversion dams- These will create some feed growth but basically still divert billions of gallons of water off the ranch rather than into the ground. Many also have a tendency to wash out and need to be repaired after a few years.

Hay- At $230 A 1,000 pound cow eating 3.5% of her body weight will eat 35 pounds of hay a day. To feed 1,000 cows per day would take 17 bales per day. $20,000 will (almost) buy 87 bales of hay which would feed 1,000 cows five days.

This means that spending $20,000 to run a Keyline Plow in the proper areas your money produces nearly twice the actual benefit of hay. While it would be nearly impossible to calculate the true value of diversion dams, they are of minimal benefit as they are still diverting water off your ranch, rather than putting it into the ground. Dirt tanks have some benefit if you do not have pump-able water, but otherwise you are letting millions of dollars worth of water blow away in the wind.

Now that you have an idea of the cost/benefit ratio of the Keyline plow, take a look and see what they have done with it on the Circle Ranch in far west Texas!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Why Climate Change Scientists Are Clueless

Like Chicken Little yelling "The sky is falling" climate change scientists are giving reasons behind the phenomenon which are largely unrelated to the actual causes. One of the false flags behind "global warming" is greenhouse gases. They may contribute a small amount, but in reality it is the lack of grasslands which it the biggest contributor.

Early day explorers described the vast majority of western America as a "sea of grass." While there are no stories describing how settlers livestock died of starvation, there are plenty of livestock perishing from a lack of water. Today much of this land has become bare ground because of the lack of proper animal impact. To demonstrate just how much the lack of grass cover reflects heat back into the atmosphere, I checked the air temperature, then checked the temperature on a patch of grass, and also a path of bare ground.
  Notice that the grass covered area is approximately eleven degrees warmer than the air while the bare ground is twenty five degrees warmer than air temperature.

We now have millions upon millions of acres just in North America which have gone from lush grasslands to bare ground and brush in the last 130 years. Add to this the millions of acres of grasslands which have been replaced with buildings and pavement, what is really the cause of global warming? Greenhouse gases (which could be converted to oxygen by grasses) or the depletion of the world's grasslands?

Now lets examine rising oceans. According to scientists, the oceans are rising as a result of the polar ice caps melting. The reason the ice caps are melting, say scientists, is because of rising temperatures. Is this actually the case, or are the ice caps melting due to the ocean levels rising? Once again, the sources of the problem are ignored.                                                                

 The above picture was taken after a thunderstorm dropped under a half inch of rain. As one can see, rather than go into the ground, much of the water is running off.  When a thunderstorm drops two inches and half of it is running off rather than going into the ground, that equals 27,154 water per acre returning to rivers and into the ocean. For every thousand acres this amounts to 27,154,000 gallons of water returning to the ocean, or trillions of gallons of water world wide returning to the sea rather than soaking into the ground.

Adding to the contribution of waters returning to the sea rather than soaking into the ground, is flood control. Water which would flood deltas and return some of it into the ground, are now kept between dykes and returned to the ocean.  How many hundreds of trillions of gallons of water which should be returned to the ground  are now channeled directly into the ocean by the Mississippi River flood control system?
It becomes fairly obvious that the real culprit of rising oceans and temperatures is not greenhouse gases, but depletion of grasslands preventing precipitation from cycling into the ground to replenish ground water, and not insulating the ground. 

Scientists blame depletion of grasslands on "overgrazing."  Keep in mind that this same land which now supports under 90,000,000 cows once supported nearly 300,000,000 bison in addition to millions each of antelope, elk and deer.  The problem is not too many animals on not enough land, but in how those animals are grazed.

Ranchers who have abandoned traditional grazing methods and changed to holistic grazing have actually reversed desertification and restored grasslands. By changing his grazing methods, the rancher below was able to restore the grass on land which was nearly bare to what you see in the picture below. This land has little to no run off because the grasses slow the water and allow it to penetrate the ground.
Mainstream scientists need to get a clue, not only to the real causes of climate change and rising oceans, but in the science behind restoring grasslands to their original state.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Desert Garden(s) of Eden

This video produced by the the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory in collaboration with several northern Mexico ranchers shows just how much grass and diversity can be created in a desert environment. All it takes is asking the simple question of "Why is grass disappearing?"