The Roundup -

Bale Grazing Talk at ARS BrownBagger Mar. 24


Grazing cattle in the winter months is not typically considered an option in the northern plains, nor as a means to build soil health, but that attitude is changing with new tools and techniques now available. One of those tools, bale grazing, has been shown to help repair degraded pastures by adding nutrients from both cows (manure) and leftover hay to the soil.

Bale grazing and its benefits are the focus of the latest BrownBagger presentation at the USDA-ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney this coming Friday, March 24. Ann Fischer, a District Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources and Conservation Service in Baker, MT, is the featured speaker and brings both book knowledge and personal experience to her talk.

Fischer’s presentation is entitled “Re-thinking Winter Feeding Strategies: Bale Grazing with Benefits,” and will focus on understanding how bale grazing can fit into an operation to benefit economics, time and soil health. Her talk will be held Friday from Noon to 1 pm at the Sidney ARS lab, 1500 N. Central Avenue.

Incorporated into her discussion is Fischer’s real life experience employing bale grazing on her family’s operation. Soil health is not only a priority for Fischer at work, but also at home. Fischer ranches with her husband, Chip, on their farm south of Rhame, ND, where their four children have also played an active part throughout their school years, she says.

The Fischer’s run 250 pair of commercial Red Angus on 3,000 acres and have been using grazing rotations, cover crops, and bale grazing to improve soil health on their land while reducing their inputs. Five years ago, they sold their haying equipment in order to expand their grazing acres, she notes, adding they now have hay delivered from a neighbor and spend less time running to the equipment store for parts. Their focus on soil health has improved their operation and overall quality of life, Fischer says.

Please join us Friday, March 24, to learn first-hand about the benefits bale grazing can provide ranchers and their soils. Bring your lunch; we’ll provide dessert!

For questions or more information on the Sidney ARS 2017 Brownbagger Series, contact Beth Redlin at 406-433-9427 or [email protected]


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