Beef + transparency = trust

We often hear that if we could expose more people to the realities of beef production and explain how today’s farmers and ranchers care for their animals, consumer trust and confidence would improve. Next week in Denver, the Colorado Beef Council, Colorado State University’s Center for Meat Safety & Quality and the national beef checkoff will do just that, during a conference titled “Beef + Transparency = Trust.”
The program organizers have designed its content primarily for influencers outside the beef business, such as nutritionists, food writers, food trade associations and consumer media. The program will take place on October 3 at the Denver Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec St. Denver, CO   (303)-399-7500.
Panelists for the day-long session include:
  • Chandler Keys from JBS SA will present Beef: It’s more than just the Sizzle. Keys represents JBS on Capitol Hill, after doing similar work for NCBA. He advocates telling the beef production story with transparency and empowering everyone as a voice to defend, protect, and promote our industry.
  • Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, NCBA’s director of Sustainability Research will present Beef Sustainability: Meeting Tomorrow’s Demand, outlining progressive management approaches that will allow us to meet the future demands of beef and protein in the diet of our growing world’s population.
  • Colorado rancher Sara Shields will present Raising Cattle and Living the Dream. Her family recently won the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award. Her dynamic view of cattle production shows her true passion of a multi-generational cow-calf operation.
  • Colorado cattle feeder and rancher Gary Teague will present Family and Business are the Keys to our Livestock Operation. Gary and his wife, Laura Teague started Teague Diversified, Inc. in 1994 when they leased and operated a 2,000 head feedlot while attending graduate school at Colorado State University. Today, the business has grown to include a 25,000 head feedlot, 2,500 cows and several ranches in Nebraska and Colorado.
  • Dr. John Scanga, associate sr. technical consultant at Elanco Animal Health, will present Production Technologies in Animal Agriculture, outlining the critical role of animal health technologies in protecting animal welfare and food quality and safety.
  • Colorado State University animal scientist and behavior expert Dr. Temple Grandin will present Animal Well-Being and Society, addressing how today’s beef production system has made substantial progress with animal well-being efforts and how we can continue to move forward to meet consumer expectations. 
  • University of Nebraska veterinarian Dr. Dee Griffin will present Animal Health:  The Link to Quality Beef . Dr. Griffin’s efforts in Beef Quality Assurance and animal health have led to America’s ranchers finding applicable solutions to critical production management practices with end beef quality remaining in the forefront of their decisions.
  • Nebraska cattle feeder and blogger Anne Burkholder will present Raising Cattle with Passion and Animal Care. Anne is a mother of three who grew up in urban Florida, but now manages a family owned feeding operation. She is a strong advocate for animal welfare and beef quality assurance, and shares her experiences with the public on her blog titledFeedyardFoodie.
  • Dr. Douglas Weed will present Beef’s Role in our Human Diet. A physician and epidemiologist, Dr. weed is the founder and managing member of DLW Consulting Services, LLC, and a leading expert on the role of protein in the human diet.
The organizers are encouraging participation, and a Q&A session with the panelists will follow the presentations. A “Beef Showcase Lunch” will feature several cuts of high-quality beef, with chefs explaining the differences and how production management decisions affect your satisfactory beef eating experience. 
Registration information is available online from the Colorado Beef Council. Or contact Travis Hoffman, Colorado Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator,

In Defense of Modern Agriculture

The thing about modern American agriculture is that most of it is big – Texas big – especially in our midsection. There might be a thousand times as many small farming operations left in the prairies, valleys and mountain sides of this country but the vast majority of the land is farmed and ranched by the big boys and girls and they are incredibly productive. 
Notice that I did not say corporate farms or factory farms – code words for big and bad, dog whistle phrases for agriculture as owned and operated by shills for Monsanto or Pfizer and are automatically condemned by many urbanites as guilty of overusing water, pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizers. Almost all large farms are family businesses, incorporated for tax purposes. They've become that way because the cost of farming has become a breathtaking exercise in financial risk. 
Equipment is as expensive as those high dollar Italian supercars. A new tractor? Think a Ferrari-like $300,000. A combine? Think a Rolls-Royce Maharaja Phantom Drophead Coupe at $400,000. And the cash to pay the monthlies? It comes once a year if the weather holds and the farmer made all the right choices along the way.
Like every other worthwhile business pursuit, farming is a 'pay-to-play' corporate pursuit which means it has to be big to generate the income needed to play another day. Small farms tend to be hobby farms; few generate the cash needed to be self-sustaining without outside income. People who operate them often live hand-to-mouth and are called 'richer in other ways,' a polite old phrase meaning they're going broke but it still feels good. Regardless, banks still say 'show me the money' at the end of the month. 
The nostalgia surrounding small farms certainly plucks at the heart strings of an urban America without an even distant memory of what life was like way back when. Returning to an imaginary era of a more sustainable time when fresh eggs could be plucked still warm from the nest, chickens for a family Sunday dinner were scurrying around the back yard, a hog was slaughtered in the fall, and fresh-picked and canned vegetables were kept in the cellar? That nostalgic image of carrying the family through the harsh but Norman Rockwellian, cover-of-the-Saturday Evening Post winter puts a smile on everyone's face but it ain't real life, folks. 
It's a pleasant, back-to-a-simpler-life fantasy created early in the twentieth century by Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney to sell magazines and movies. Large corporate but still family-owned farms using the latest technology are what feeds America and the world today. Owners of most of those idealized small farms can only feed themselves and a few friends. They're the people you see at farmers' markets in the summer, selling their excess produce during the height of the picking season. The very small profit they hope to make helps tide them over until next year. Year around 'in town' jobs help them pay the monthly utility bills and cover expensive necessities like health insurance.
It's a concept dearly beloved by the hosts of two recent seminars, though. The New York Times' Food for Tomorrow Conference, which was Mark Bittman's pricey feeding the wealthy extravaganza last November and the more recent Food Tank Summit both glorified small holder, peasant farming that's prevalent in third world countries. At best, it does a merely adequate job of staving off hunger. At worst, it leaves millions facing starvation. To see it as a solution to the real or imagined ills of modern agriculture is the equivalent of reviving Miguel Cervantes and asking him to rewrite The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha with Mark Bittman as Sancho Panza.
Asking for a return to those mythical good old days is tilting at imaginary windmills astride an old, lame horse. It might make a few Ingenious Gentlemen (and Ladies) feel good but it solves no real problems and creates a few that have been long gone. Instead, we should work hard at steadily improving the large scale farming techniques that have been extremely successful at feeding a rapidly growing population.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chuck Jolley, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.

Vertical farms sprout into reality

Seven billion humans need farms that cover a land mass equal to South America, but tomorrow's farmers may need even more space to grow food for hungry mouths. Such urgency has given root to a new agricultural idea in the past few years — building vertical farms that climb toward the sky or burrow beneath the Earth.
Vertical farming got a big boost from a class taught by Dickson Despommier, a microbiologist and ecologist at Columbia University, in 1999. The students' ideas spread virally across the Internet and led to the rise of the first modern vertical farms in the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Sweden has plans for a vertical farm skyscraper reaching 17 stories in height.
"There are now real vertical farms," Despommier said. "You have no idea how proud I am of 106 students that worked over the period of 10 years to make this happen."
Vertical farms offer the vision of growing whatever people want, wherever they want. The indoor facilities can grow crops all year long without droughts or similar weather-related events wreaking havoc. Some designs can even make more efficient use of water compared to outdoor farming — and they could save outside space for wilderness or similar natural habitats. [Real Farmville: iPad Game Would Let Pigs Play with Humans ]
Still, many people thought vertical farms were crazy even up to three years ago, Despommier said. His satisfaction was evident as he showed pictures of existing vertical farms during a talk at the World Science Festival's "Innovation Square" event on June 2.
The most futuristic farms exist in Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore where crowded cities and scarce land make vertical farming most appealing. "I wish we were the world's leader in this, but right now it looks like Korea and Japan are light years ahead of us," Despommier said.
South Korea took inspiration from Despommier to build a three-story vertical farm with robotics and LED lights in the city of Suwon. Another seven-story vertical farm that grows plants shelf-like layers has sprouted in Yongin under the company Insung Tech.
The Japanese company Nuvege has built a vertical farm in Kyoto based upon familiar hydroponic farming methods that don't require soil. The Japanese government has also begun planning a vertical farm near the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster as part of a bigger plan to robotically clean up farmland ravaged by a huge earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Europe has become home for some wilder visions of vertical farming — Sweden's Plantagon began building the 17-story vertical farm in Linkoping in February. Meanwhile, the PlantLab company wants to experiment with crop lighting conditions in a three-story underground farm in the Netherlands.
Even the U.S. has begun sprouting a few vertical farms. A former Chicago meatpacking plant has begun transforming into a vertical farm known simply as "The Plant," and the "Vertical Harvest" project is raising funds for a three-story greenhouse in Jackson, Wyoming.
The vertical farm dream is still growing both literally and figuratively. Despommier envisions modular vertical farms that can be shipped to the sites of natural disasters or civil unrest.
"So when you're in a pinch … you can ship these things, lock them together like Legos, and you've got your vertical farm sitting right in front of you with produce in it for people who need it," Despommier said. "That's my dream."
You can follow InnovationNewsDaily Senior Writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter @ScienceHsu. Follow InnovationNewsDaily on Twitter @News_Innovation, or on  Facebook.

CARNE ARGENTINA (Nuevo Post) - Cortes oficiales de 1948

Amigos Ganaderos,
Les compartimos esta tabla para que la comparen con los Cortes Argentinos.

Por una industria mejor informada, GANADERÍA MÉXICO.

La eficiencia de la fertilización del cereal de invierno con purín de cerdo

La fertilización es uno de los costes más importantes en la producción de los cereales y por este motivo es necesario buscar su máxima eficiencia. Este objetivo es relativamente sencillo cuando la fertilización se realiza con fertilizantes minerales, pero resulta justo lo contrario cuando se utilizan abonos orgánicos. Hoy en día, y gracias a los resultados obtenidos en la investigación, existen diferentes técnicas y herramientas que permiten mejorar la eficiencia en cuanto a la aplicación de fertilizantes de origen orgánico, como el purín de cerdo. En el siguiente artículo, de, se muestran los principales puntos clave a tener en cuenta para mejorar dicha eficiencia.
Fertilizar con productos orgánicos puede aportar un gran número de beneficios al cereal de invierno, al suelo y a la rentabilidad de la explotación agrícola. Ahora bien, su uso ineficiente puede suponer la reducción de los beneficios al mismo tiempo que puede ocasionar problemas al medio ambiente, debido principalmente a las pérdidas de nitrógeno. La utilización de purín como abono es una práctica común y cada vez más valorada debido a los nutrientes que aporta al cereal de invierno. La planificación del abonado es clave para optimizar los beneficios de la explotación. No obstante, es tan importante conocer la dosis de nutriente con la que se quiere fertilizar, como que la aplicación que se haga en campo se aproxime al máximo a la dosis teórica establecida. Otro factor a tener en cuenta en la planificación del abonado es el momento de aplicación. En el cereal de invierno el momento óptimo de aplicación es en cobertera, ya que es cuando el cultivo presenta sus mayores necesidades en nutrientes.
Una de las principales dificultades de trabajar con purín de cerdo era el desconocimiento de su riqueza en nutrientes, pero la aparición de herramientas como el conductímetro ya permite estimar su composición con anterioridad o en el mismo momento de la aplicación. Asimismo, existe maquinaria que permite aplicar de manera homogénea y reducir posibles pérdidas de nutrientes.
Un obstáculo con el que se encuentran los agricultores y técnicos ante el ejercicio de planificar una estrategia de fertilización es la falta de acceso rápido a la información más reciente. Con el fin de poner a disposición del sector la información y herramientas necesarias, a mediados del año 2013 el Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca i Alimentació de la Generalitat de Catalunya (DARP) creó la Oficina de fertilització i tractament de dejeccions ramaderes. Actualmente la Oficina se ha consolidado como instrumento de transferencia y formación de los agricultores y ganaderos en Cataluña. El objetivo principal consiste en ofrecer los conocimientos necesarios para la correcta gestión de los principales productos con valor fertilizante (deyecciones ganaderas, fertilizantes químicos, compost, etc.) y que tienen como destino final el suelo agrícola.
Los agricultores, ganaderos y técnicos pueden encontrar toda la información en la página web de la Oficina donde también se pueden realizar consultas y resolver dudas que puedan surgir.
Dosis y momento de aplicación
El purín porcino es un abono que contiene nitrógeno, fósforo y potasio, así como otros muchos nutrientes que la planta necesita en menor cantidad. También aporta materia orgánica en pequeñas cantidades. La característica principal del purín es que una gran parte del nitrógeno que aporta se encuentra en forma mineral, por lo tanto, rápidamente disponible para el cultivo.
La dosis de fertilizante está estrechamente relacionada con la capacidad productiva de la parcela. Así se ha podido comprobar en los resultados obtenidos en los campos de ensayo incluidos en los ‘Plans per a la millora de la fertilització agraria a Catalunya’, llevados a cabo por técnicos de la Oficina. Así, la cantidad necesaria para cubrir las necesidades de un cereal de invierno puede ser desde 50 kg N/ha y año en las zonas con un potencial productivo muy bajo (<2500 kg grano/ha) hasta más de 150 kg N/ha y año para aquellas con una capacidad productiva elevada (>5000 kg grano/ha), dependiendo de la campaña y el tipo de fertilizante utilizado.
Una vez conocida la dosis es muy importante escoger el mejor momento de aplicación según el tipo de fertilizante utilizado. Las necesidades nutritivas del cereal de invierno son bajas en las primeras etapas de crecimiento, pudiendo llegar a suponer alrededor del 15% desde su emergencia hasta el ahijado. La mayor parte de las extracciones se dan después de la parada invernal, por lo que es esencial asegurar un contenido adecuado de nutrientes durante este período. El abonado de cobertera es el momento más importante en la fertilización nitrogenada de un cereal de invierno y es una buena forma de aumentar la eficiencia de los productos fertilizantes con un elevado contenido de nitrógeno fácilmente disponible (abonos minerales y purín). En cuanto al fósforo y el potasio, se trata de nutrientes que presentan una movilidad reducida en el suelo y su contenido no variará de forma importante durante el ciclo del cultivo. Por ese motivo su disponibilidad no dependerá tanto del momento de aplicación.
En el caso de utilizar purín porcino, en general, se mejoran o mantienen los rendimientos cuando se aplican cantidades ajustadas en cobertera. En la figura 1 se puede observar como el exceso de nitrógeno en fondo no mejora la cosecha, mientras que aplicaciones moderadas de purines en cobertera (por ejemplo de purín de madres) permiten alcanzar unos de los mejores rendimientos con cantidades reducidas de nitrógeno.
Figura 1. Comparación del rendimiento mediano de 4 años de ensayo en la localidad de Oliola (Cataluña, Lleida) en función del momento de aplicación del purín de cerdo (fondo o cobertera). Riqueza nutrientes purín “Taules i dades” de la página web de la Oficina ( Fuente: Oficina de fertilització i tractament de dejeccions ramaderes- Ángela Bosch (2015).
En muchas ocasiones, una cantidad excesiva de purín puede empeorar el aprovechamiento del agua por parte del cultivo y perjudicar el rendimiento final, sobre todo en las zonas en donde el agua es un factor limitante.
Método de aplicación
Otro de los puntos clave que permite mejorar la eficiencia del abonado del cereal de invierno mediante la aportación de purines es el sistema de aplicación utilizado. Una distribución irregular del fertilizante o una aplicación que comporte elevadas pérdidas de nitrógeno al sistema dará lugar a diferencias en las dosis aplicadas que pueden originar mermas importantes de producción. Ambas situaciones pueden mejorarse mediante una correcta elección del sistema de distribución de los purines.
La aplicación del purín mediante el sistema tradicional de abanico, a pesar de ser económico y de uso y mantenimiento sencillos, no es el sistema más adecuado para aportar los nutrientes que requiere el cultivo. En las últimas décadas han ido apareciendo equipos que incorporan nuevas tecnologías. Por un lado, existen los sistemas de distribución localizada en superficie, como los tubos colgantes o aplicadores de mangueras, y por otro los sistemas de distribución localizada en profundidad, como los inyectores. Los primeros, que garantizan una gran anchura de trabajo y permiten aplicar dosis reducidas de purines, son ampliamente utilizados en muchos países de Europa y se están introduciendo cada vez más en España.
El uso del sistema tradicional de abanico puede favorecer pérdidas de nitrógeno por volatilización muy importantes, es decir, parte del nitrógeno del purín se puede perder en forma de amonio hacia la atmósfera. Esto es así porque una de las principales características de los purines es su elevado contenido de nitrógeno amoniacal en relación con el nitrógeno total, aproximadamente alrededor del 70% en porcino y el 50% en bovino, lo que se traduce en un potencial de pérdida elevado en relación con otros abonos orgánicos. En consecuencia, a mayores pérdidas menor eficiencia de aplicación del purín.
Figura 2. Comparativa de pérdida de nitrógeno con sistema de distribución superficial (abanico) y localizado en superficie con tubos con incorporador. Fuente: Yagüe y Bosch (2013).
Son diversas las variables que condicionan las pérdidas de nitrógeno por volatilización. Entre las principales destacan las condiciones meteorológicas, el tipo de suelo, la existencia de cubierta vegetal, el tipo de purín o la maquinaria de distribución.
Los sistemas de distribución localizada pueden depositar el purín sobre la superficie del suelo o enterrado en líneas paralelas, reduciendo la superficie de contacto del fertilizante aplicado con el aire y, en definitiva, perdiendo menos nitrógeno (figura 2).
Por otro lado, la distribución de los fertilizantes debe asegurar una buena uniformidad de aplicación. En caso contrario, se pueden llegar a producir zonas sobre-fertilizadas donde el exceso de nitrógeno se pierda en profundidad o zonas con falta de nitrógeno donde la cosecha puede ser muy inferior al óptimo esperado.
La distribución de purín con el método convencional de abanico no garantiza una uniformidad de distribución, especialmente en el sentido transversal de la marcha. La distribución conseguida, generalmente en forma de ‘M’, está altamente influenciada por los vientos laterales y requiere en la mayoría de casos un elevado porcentaje de solapamiento para garantizar en los extremos una dosis mínima aceptable.
Aunque los sistemas de distribución localizada como los tubos colgantes son más complejos, y requieren de complementos esenciales como los trituradores, tienen un potencial de uniformidad mucho más elevado que el conseguido mediante el sistema tradicional, por lo que garantizan que la planta reciba una dosis homogénea durante toda su aplicación.
En una de las acciones del proyecto LIFE+ FUTUR AGRARI, coordinado por el DARP, se comparó la distribución a lo ancho entre un aplicador de abanico y uno de tubos colgantes. En el primer caso (abanico) la cantidad de nitrógeno aplicado fue muy superior en un lado respecto al otro (figura 4). En cambio, en la aplicación mediante tubos colgantes la distribución de nitrógeno es prácticamente homogénea.
Figura 4. Gráfico de la distribución mediante una aplicación con abanico. Aplicación de fondo en un campo de riego por aspersión de cereal de invierno en Castelló de Farfanya (Lleida, Cataluña). Fuente: LIFE+FUTUR AGRARI (2015).
En este caso se pudo calcular la cantidad de nitrógeno aplicado gracias al conductímetro. Para la aplicación mediante tubos colgantes, la cisterna disponía de un equipo automático, mientras que para la aplicación con abanico se utilizó un conductímetro manual.
A modo de conclusión
La dosis de fertilizante se tiene que establecer según el potencial productivo de la parcela. Asimismo, es necesario conocer la riqueza del purín para planificar una buena estrategia de fertilización. Hoy en día ya se puede estimar su composición con anterioridad o en el mismo momento de la aplicación gracias al conductímetro.
El nitrógeno en el purín está mayoritariamente en forma amoniacal, lo que significa que es rápidamente disponible por el cultivo. Aprovechar esta característica para aplicar el purín porcino en cobertera del cereal de invierno, que es el momento de máximas necesidades nutricionales, permitirá incrementar notablemente la eficiencia de la aplicación.
La elección del sistema de aplicación es otro factor clave para mejorar la eficiencia del abonado mediante purines. El uso de distribuidores de mangueras no sólo permite ajustar la dosis necesaria, sino que también reduce las pérdidas de nitrógeno por volatilización y asegura una distribución uniforme evitando zonas sobre-fertilizadas.
(Texto del estudio: Gemma Murillo, Elena Puigpinós, Jordi Tugues, Carlos Ortiz y Núria Canut. Oficina de fertilització i tractament de dejeccions ramaderes. Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca i Alimentació.)
Referencias bibliográficas
  • Dosier técnico número 79. Fertilització i dejeccions ramaderes. Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca i Alimentació. Octubre 2015.
  • Yagüe, M.R., Bosch-Serra, A.D. (2013) “Slurry field management and ammonia emissions under Mediterranian conditions”. Soil Use and Management. Vol. 29 (3), septiembre, pág. 397-400.


by: Heather Smith Thomas
A growing number of stockmen are calving later in the year (April, May or June) rather than early, to be more in tune with nature. They have green grass at calving time and less need for harvested forage when the cow's nutritional needs are peaking during lactation. Along with later calving comes the necessity for later weaning. Some stockmen are choosing to winter the calves with the cows and wean at about 10 months of age (in late February or in March) rather than wean during early winter with all the stress of harsh weather.
Nick Faulkner (Ruso Ranch in North Dakota) has been wintering calves with their mothers for nine years. “We keep them on their mothers for about 10 months, pulling them off two months before the cows calve again. We calve in late April. This has worked very well for us. We don't have to give any vaccinations for scours or for other calf diseases,” he says. Being on mother's milk through winter, without the stress of weaning, seems to keep the calves healthy.
“In spring, when cows are calving during warm weather, we are not seeing any problems. There are a few cows that can't handle it as well (losing body condition nursing their calf through winter) but those are the ones we cull.” Those cows don't fit the program.
“We watch condition score throughout the winter and have a pretty good idea which cows will be all right and which ones won't. Our feeding program helps keep most of the cows in good shape. We use a lot of cover crops, hay them, and feed that to the cows through winter. They are getting top quality feed to help them keep their body condition,” says Faulkner. Even if some of them lose a little weight, most of those thinner cows bounce back before they calve.
“Some of the ones you'd think might not turn out so well can really recover nicely with high quality feed. Wintering the pairs together simplifies our winter feeding program. My father-in-law raised corn for silage (to feed during winter) for 30 years, and we dropped that completely. We are no longer raising corn. We do more haying, but the calves go through winter so much better on the cows than they do being weaned.”
The ranch has been gradually increasing cow numbers and is now calving about 250 cows. “We try to keep our own heifers rather than buy cattle. We have bought a few bred heifers but keep them separate from the main herd for awhile, for biosecurity. We keep our calves after weaning, running them as yearlings on grass and sell them in the fall.” The calves that are weaned in late February really bloom when they hit the grass.
“We like to run them on dry grass at first rather than the lush green grass. They can start eating the new shoots under the old grass and gradually get onto the fresh grass.
The calves are not stressed at all by weaning; about half of them are already weaned by their mothers by the time we wean the group,” he says. This is a natural age for them to be weaned, and the cows are already weaning them.
This makes it a lot easier on the cows and the calves than early weaning. “We do fenceline weaning so it's low stress. Usually within three days after we separate the pairs, there are only one or two bellowing at each other. When we wean them, the calves are so content that they don't care where they are,” says Faulkner. At that age they are no longer so dependent on their mothers.
“Calves learn a lot from their mothers, regarding eating habits, etc. The longer you can keep them with their mothers, the better the calves will do,” he says.
“We are working on cutting our feed costs in winter. We are still running our tractors but we're doing quite a bit of bale grazing with the cattle, trying to reduce our costs. It all ties together, with the later weaning of the calves. The calves are eating with the cows—whether bale grazing or pasture grazing—rather than waiting for the truck to bring the feed out to them.” They are more motivated to find their own feed and don't become so spoiled and lazy.
“We want our cattle to be working for us, rather than us working for them. The biggest thing I've noticed about the later weaning is how much easier it is for all of us. We are having fewer problems and less sickness. We are also trying to do more direct marketing on a natural program so we are keeping track of what goes into those animals, especially the ones we are finishing. Now we are doing the same thing with our direct market calves as we are doing for our commercial herd and we don't have to change anything or do anything special for the natural market. It all works together and makes the process easier for us,” he says.
“There is a lot of expense if you are feeding silage or grain through the winter. That was the biggest thing about using corn silage, because the corn was expensive to grow. We can use that same land to raise grass—maybe a higher quality grass—at less expense than the corn or grain,” he says.
Wintering the pairs together seems to be a new concept to many people, but has been done in other places for a long time, such as Australia and Africa. A person sometimes has to adapt new ideas to fit their own conditions. If a person gets locked into doing things a certain way just because that's the way they've always done it, there are some missed opportunities.


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