tall grass with blue skies

One of the issues contributing to keeping grass right side up is the unbalanced grassland vs. cropland revenue competition. Most producers are familiar with the Conservation Reserve Program. There are several types of CRP programs. The Grassland Conservation Reserve Program is specifically aimed at livestock producers who want to use the land for grazing and enhancing biodiversity.

up close picture of green grass in native prairie

Part 3 covers overcoming personal obstacles that are keeping you from achieving your ranch goals.
It is important to note that ranch goals are an important part of grazing planning. Holistic Resource Management training is helpful in refining your goals.

old wagon on a ranch

The SD Grasslands Summit in Oacoma on March 18 and 19 featured several speakers and a panel focusing on the financial aspect of keeping grass right side up. Only 16% or about 98 million acres of the original North American grassland biome is still intact. A large percentage of those grasslands are privately owned, working lands. Helping grassland managers score a profit is an important part of sustaining that biome into the future.
“Lack of economic information is a major obstacle to conservation success,” said Dirac Twidwell, Professor and Rangeland Ecologist at the University of Nebraska.

Mesonet Ag Weather Tool

Drought planning is an important component of ranch management. A good drought plan should have a series of critical “trigger dates” in which the manager evaluates climate information and makes predetermined decisions to manage the land and livestock resources before it is too late.

cactus up close

By this time of year, in March, producers who are experienced in developing and updating grazing plans and drought contingency plans have already reached their first trigger date decision on whether to begin selling livestock. It’s all part of preparing for drought–South Dakota ranchers know better than anyone that the next drought could be right around the corner.

up close image of two fields side by side

Farming through saline soils and treating them the same as the rest of the field wastes inputs and produces lower yields, and results in a drag on overall field profits. Some producers are finding alternative ways to get a return off these areas, by planting perennials.

cattle in the green grass

If there is a “silver bullet” in ranching, it is building and maintaining healthy soil in rangeland. Heathy soil in pastures drives profit, holds water around plant roots, in- creases grass plant populations, increases plant diversity, increases root growth and much more. Our ranching culture should be focused on improving soil health in our pastures. Holistic Resource Management (HRM) will make this happen on your ranch.

Grazing Map of the Grazing Exchange

The Grazing Exchange, initiated by the SDSHC, is a way to get livestock integrated into cropland and providing rest to grasslands. In addition, it also is a way to connect people who have grass but don’t have livestock. This program pro- motes sustainable linkages between our two organizations.

black and white picture of a cow looking at the camera

Despite its numerous benefits, many cattle farmers are still hesitant to adopt rotational grazing due to several misconceptions and fears. In this blog post, we will explore some of the common misconceptions surrounding rotational grazing, why people are often hesitant to start it, and why they should give it a try anyway.

Cattle on the prairie

Rotational grazing creates healthier pastures by allowing time for plants to rest & recover after being bit by livestock.

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