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Working Ranch - November/December 2017

better than others could lead to increased overall production or expose a need to revise the rotation plan to make better use of a specifi c area. “You can’t change your soil base,” Schmitz points out. “But adding amendments to soil, based on a current soil test, may be an economic advantage and help to avoid use of soil inputs where they’re not effective. Target equal production across the paddocks and realize all paddocks may not be the same size.” Rotation assessment may also indicate the need to modify paddock size in order to make the most of productive areas and avoid grazing abuse on others. Riparian areas typically provide greater forage quantity and livestock are naturally drawn to the water. When riparian areas are incorporated into pastures and paddocks, management decisions can result in maximizing their resources. “You want to carefully manage an area with both uplands and riparian area to create uniform grazing of both resources,” Stephenson says. “That could mean strategic grazing timing, fencing or other tools to help control when and where cattle graze.” Identifying a “sacrifi ce” paddock can also assist in effectively dealing with unexpected winter events that require holding cattle in one area for extended periods of time. “In our area, some producers rotate cattle through paddocks during winter,” Schmitz says. “If that’s the case, it’s important to have a paddock you can use, which you know will sustain some abuse. There are times when you have to sacrifi ce one area and deal with fi xing it later.” Don’t carve any grazing plan in stone. Make room for adjustments. “Don’t just use the calendar for turnout dates or rotation dates,” Stephenson advises. “Look at each paddock as a unit and base decisions on what happened there last year, what weather is doing this year, and your precipitation outlook. Many things can happen over the span of a year.” NEVER STOP LEARNING Winter may bring opportunities to attend conferences, seminars and training events that can help the most experienced operators polish skills or add a new tool to their skill set. “Some producers, regardless of age, are curious and willing to learn,” Schmitz says. “Finding information you can sort through helps improve upon what you already know and do. Be willing to fi nd out what’s out there.” In addition to a focus on grazing and beef production, Schmitz encourages beef operators to consider participation in other conference venues such as business and marketing. “Maybe you need to learn more about employee management or you just want to broaden your knowledge base,” Schmitz adds. “At times, beef operators may work harder mentally than physically to successfully manage their operation.” GO THE DISTANCE WITH A SHORTER CUT. “SHORTCUT” AKA: THE 2665 BALEBUSTER Find us on Facebook and view products in action on our YouTube channel! 2665 BALEBUSTER • Save 30% of your hay and straw • Shredder chamber handles bales in any condition • ÀDLOVZLWKQLQHVOXJEDUVDQG three stripper kits produces a consistently shorter cut • 1300 rpm rotor speed, which throws straw farther and processes faster Call today or visit us online to learn more. 888-211-2385 www.haybuster.info • Heavier conveyor table chains and drive shafts • Repositioned loader for easy EDOHORDGLQJ • Optional containment kit NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017 I WORKING RANCH I 43


Working Ranch - November/December 2017
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