Friday, August 27, 2010

Egg Poisoning

I wonder if anyone has considered that the main problem with this recent egg calamity could possibly be due to the fact that the hens are housed permanently inside a building where the air is unsafe for humans, as well as animals.  The birds are packed in like sardines.  They never see sunshine, rain, clouds, or eat bugs, worms and are never allowed to forage, all which is natural for a healthy bird.  And drugs are regularly mixed in with their feed to keep them alive in this hell hole.  And did I mention, this is all done for profits.  There is a better way for everyone.  A cheaper egg and a more healthy egg, and a system that could actually put people to work.  It's called a family farm.  But then, who would pay the lobbyists, and contribute to the campaign fund.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Feeding Hay

I saw a buddy of mine pulling several loads of hay down the road by the ranch this morning.  He stopped and he was very happy about this dry spell we are in.  He sells hay.  After dropping the third load of hay off at my next door neighbors house he asked when I would need hay.  I told him are you kidding.  Look around, there's grass, and a lot of weeds(forbs) for the cattle and sheep.  I told him I don't expect to feed any hay until late February.  Many Missourians would still have plenty of forbs for their livestock to eat, even if they had little to no grass, if they would not have been cutting hay and brush hogging earlier in the year.  Weeds are livestock feed also, and in many cases higher in nutrients than most modern grasses.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

still dry

Very dry conditions here.  But I took a drive 30 minutes South of the ranch today and it is really dry and burnt even worse than at home.  It looks like nothing to eat in the pastures.  But along the rode ditches there is grass and forbs two and three ft tall.  This is the only places where fertilizers, hay cutting, and continous grazing can not take place, go figure.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No Rain

It's been many weeks since any measurable precept has fallen here at the ranch.  Some neighbors are feeding hay, many of their pastures look like the desert.  I turned my cows into another paddock this morning with grass over knee high.  Holistic Systems is the difference between lots of grass and no grass.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Senate Bil S510

I'm a simple cowboy trying to make a living with a few good cows and a herd of sheep. I gave up the traditional commodity, university trained system of big corporate agricultural practices years ago because the only ones making a living under that system are the ones selling you the inputs or teaching the lousy system of how to use those costly inputs.  Under the program of Holistic Systems my family not only makes their living from our ranch but we are improving soil, water, air and the ecosystem in general by our practices.  That is we are sustainable.   Now I read about this Senate Bill S510 which could threaten all we have worked for.  This bill not only makes it illegal to market, sell, and transport my own farm raised products, but I would no longer even be able to raise them for my family, neighbors or friends.  I like keeping things simple and prefer to stay away from the political arena of poison elites and stay on direct ranching practices, but this really ruffles my feathers.  Speaking to other ranchers and all my customers, it looks like we all may have to put our heads together and save what might be left of this once great country.  Please google this senate bill and make up your own mind.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

To many folks Holistic Systems may only be about forage management in the beginning.  This reminds me of single trait selection in the beef industry where weaning weights has been the main goal in this industry for the last 50 years or so.  We were so busy trying to increase weaning weights, because some people were very successful at convincing us incorrectly of its importance, that we forgot the very basics of livestock production altogether.  In a similar situation you can sit around the coffee shop with a bunch of modern dairymen and their main topic is milk production per cow.  Although the forage production is vitally important to the real livestock producer, producing the most forage on the farm without using the Holistic approach is very similar to the beef and dairymen mentioned above.

Under Holistic Systems, I am making the attempt to produce massive quantities of forage.  I also wish to have many varieties and species of forages that the livestock on my farm can utilize to a very high degree.  That is I want very little waste.  While doing this I must have my eye on the system I am using to get this quantity forage.  If I must destroy the drinking water or slowly poison my neighbors fields by leaching harmful pesticides to get more forage this simply is not acceptable under my system. 

Somehow many of us have been convinced that we must go out to the market and spend money in order to increase this forage production.  This is a poor reflection upon our society.  In most cases the limiting factor for producing yet more forage is water shortages.  Now we get plenty of rainfall.  We just do not have the system in place to capture the rain and put it to good use when needed.  We tend to mismanage our precipitation and then try to correct this mishap with technology.  To fix this problem we need not purchase any product or gadget.  Bare soil, any bare soil, and short grasses allows more rain water to run off than is collected.  This is such an easy fix.  But the fix I am talking about can not be bottled or distributed from the fertilize plant, equipment dealer or feed store.  When the water problem is corrected so many of the other issues simply are resolved as well. 

So under my Holistic System what we thought was a forage problem would have been better revealed as a water problem once we started using the Holism approach more effectively.