Grazing techniques constantly monitored at the Rex Ranch | TheFencePost.com

Grazing techniques constantly monitored at the Rex Ranch

Gayle Smith
Potter, Neb.

One of the most common concerns for ranchers attending the Nebraska grazing conference is determining if the knowledge they gain can be applied to their own operations, and if so how they can use it. Many ranchers from the Sandhills wonder how to apply these techniques since they are dealing with a smaller amount of annual rainfall, larger pastures, and a different type of grass and soil than many of the speakers who successfully mob graze.

At this year’s conference, Chip Ramsay of the Rex Ranch in Ashby, Neb., addressed how his Sandhills Ranch has been able to modify some of these techniques and use them successfully on the ranch.

The Rex Ranch is located in five separate parcels between Whitman and Alliance, Neb. The ranch averages about 17-20 inches of annual rainfall. Ramsay describes the ranch as mostly hilly ground with about 10-15 percent meadows. Ramsay said income on the ranch is mainly generated from cow/calf and stocker feeder enterprises.

“We have disciplined written grazing planning and implementation favoring principles taught by Allen Savory,” Ramsay explained. “We have a year-round grazing plan, and if we can, we only graze the hills one time during the growing season. We rotate all winter long each year. We don’t have summer and winter pastures.”

Listening to the other speakers at the conference, Ramsay conveyed to the group the importance of coming to conferences like the Nebraska Grazing Conference to learn new techniques and share ideas. As a result, Ramsay said some of the techniques have helped the Rex Ranch better utilize the resources they have available. “We have not become as intensive as some,” he said. “But, it might be our next big step. We would like to find ways to better utilize our meadows to see if we could double our production on those meadows. We think it is doing some good the way we graze,” he added.

On the ranch, Ramsay said they utilize low stress handling and selection techniques. “We use Bud Williams’ principles, but we also select our cattle for low stress,” he explained. “If a cow causes our workers problems, we cull her and she’s gone. We try to keep females that we don’t have to touch. We’re not perfect because we still have more dystocia in our first calf heifers than we would like, but we are still looking at ways to improve upon that.”

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One of the most common concerns for ranchers attending the Nebraska grazing conference is determining if the knowledge they gain can be applied to their own operations, and if so how they can use it. Many ranchers from the Sandhills wonder how to apply these techniques since they are dealing with a smaller amount of annual rainfall, larger pastures, and a different type of grass and soil than many of the speakers who successfully mob graze.

At this year’s conference, Chip Ramsay of the Rex Ranch in Ashby, Neb., addressed how his Sandhills Ranch has been able to modify some of these techniques and use them successfully on the ranch.

The Rex Ranch is located in five separate parcels between Whitman and Alliance, Neb. The ranch averages about 17-20 inches of annual rainfall. Ramsay describes the ranch as mostly hilly ground with about 10-15 percent meadows. Ramsay said income on the ranch is mainly generated from cow/calf and stocker feeder enterprises.

“We have disciplined written grazing planning and implementation favoring principles taught by Allen Savory,” Ramsay explained. “We have a year-round grazing plan, and if we can, we only graze the hills one time during the growing season. We rotate all winter long each year. We don’t have summer and winter pastures.”

Listening to the other speakers at the conference, Ramsay conveyed to the group the importance of coming to conferences like the Nebraska Grazing Conference to learn new techniques and share ideas. As a result, Ramsay said some of the techniques have helped the Rex Ranch better utilize the resources they have available. “We have not become as intensive as some,” he said. “But, it might be our next big step. We would like to find ways to better utilize our meadows to see if we could double our production on those meadows. We think it is doing some good the way we graze,” he added.

On the ranch, Ramsay said they utilize low stress handling and selection techniques. “We use Bud Williams’ principles, but we also select our cattle for low stress,” he explained. “If a cow causes our workers problems, we cull her and she’s gone. We try to keep females that we don’t have to touch. We’re not perfect because we still have more dystocia in our first calf heifers than we would like, but we are still looking at ways to improve upon that.”

One of the most common concerns for ranchers attending the Nebraska grazing conference is determining if the knowledge they gain can be applied to their own operations, and if so how they can use it. Many ranchers from the Sandhills wonder how to apply these techniques since they are dealing with a smaller amount of annual rainfall, larger pastures, and a different type of grass and soil than many of the speakers who successfully mob graze.

At this year’s conference, Chip Ramsay of the Rex Ranch in Ashby, Neb., addressed how his Sandhills Ranch has been able to modify some of these techniques and use them successfully on the ranch.

The Rex Ranch is located in five separate parcels between Whitman and Alliance, Neb. The ranch averages about 17-20 inches of annual rainfall. Ramsay describes the ranch as mostly hilly ground with about 10-15 percent meadows. Ramsay said income on the ranch is mainly generated from cow/calf and stocker feeder enterprises.

“We have disciplined written grazing planning and implementation favoring principles taught by Allen Savory,” Ramsay explained. “We have a year-round grazing plan, and if we can, we only graze the hills one time during the growing season. We rotate all winter long each year. We don’t have summer and winter pastures.”

Listening to the other speakers at the conference, Ramsay conveyed to the group the importance of coming to conferences like the Nebraska Grazing Conference to learn new techniques and share ideas. As a result, Ramsay said some of the techniques have helped the Rex Ranch better utilize the resources they have available. “We have not become as intensive as some,” he said. “But, it might be our next big step. We would like to find ways to better utilize our meadows to see if we could double our production on those meadows. We think it is doing some good the way we graze,” he added.

On the ranch, Ramsay said they utilize low stress handling and selection techniques. “We use Bud Williams’ principles, but we also select our cattle for low stress,” he explained. “If a cow causes our workers problems, we cull her and she’s gone. We try to keep females that we don’t have to touch. We’re not perfect because we still have more dystocia in our first calf heifers than we would like, but we are still looking at ways to improve upon that.”