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Working Ranck - June/July 2017

are truly grasses, a forage diet may include broadleaf plants (forbs) such as legumes, brassicas and crop residues – even plants commonly considered to be weeds. Whether green and growing or dry and brown, grazed or harvested, all herbaceous parts of plants can be forage, as long as a cow brute will eat it. Rasmussen discovered that there were few plants that a cow would not eat, at some stage of vegetative growth. He also recognized that soil health, as well as water and mineral cycles, could be enhanced with fewer production inputs, while boosting the productivity of his land with forages. “With irrigation, there is tremendous potential for forage production – up to 30 tons per acre. I think that’s exciting,” says Rasmussen, emphasizing how this also enables production of more pounds of beef per acre. “I just wish I had another lifetime or two left in me so I could pursue it ABOVE Dean Choat (L), Wayne Rasmussen, and Todd Hatcher, partners in Giop Livestock, Plainview, NE TROY SMITH further,” he adds. “So that’s why I’m trying to help Dean and Todd, by sharing what I have learned so far. They can carry it forward, add to it and, hopefully, pass it on to the next generation.” BIG OPPORTUNITY Dean Choat came to the Rasmussen operation fi rst, early in 2012. Raised near Albion, Nebraska, Choat previously was an independent consulting Vision 74 I WORKING RANCH I JUNE / JULY 2017


Working Ranck - June/July 2017
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