Tales from the O-NO Ranch
Gentle readers, have you ever given much thought to grass? Have you ever stopped to consider just how important grass is in our everyday lives? We know it’s important to beef producers because it’s a staple for us folks that have livestock.
I enjoy driving through a neighborhood where the folks that live there all have green well-kept lawns. It takes work, and those of you who enjoy having a nice soft grassy lawn know exactly what I’m talkin’ about. Being raised in west Texas where there was mostly dirt, sand, wind and very little water to enjoy, you come to have a love affair with green grass.
There have been many times when I was out prowlin’ a’horseback that my mind would wonder back a hundred years or so and try to paint myself a visual of what the Great Plains would have looked like. In some of my Western history books, there are pictures of immigrant trains that stopped to make camp or just take a break and the folks, for the most part, seem to be resting in grass that is 2 to 3 feet tall. Wouldn’t it have been something to have been able to see the prairies moving like a rolling sea of grass instead of water in the ever present breeze?
Yep, that doggone wind is blowin’ again today, but I won’t go there this time! The pastures have turned a pale shade of green, but there is precious little grass here at the O-NO and most other places I’ve driven by.
You hear about some of the large ranches down in the southwest like Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Places that are several hundred thousand acres in size. Well … on some of those ranches the stocking rate is only about six cows to a section (640 acres) of land. I have been on some of those outfits, and trust me when I tell you that grass is something that they all wish they had more of.
I have a good variety of grasses on this little place of mine and when I run yearlings through the summer months they usually have extremely good gains by fall. I’m wanting to buy some cattle now but I’m afraid that we may be gettin’ ready to have another really dry summer.
By the way, this is the Monday after Easter at this writing and the Easter Bunny was unable to leave any eggs because he (she) couldn’t find enough grass to hide them in.
Grass is a commodity that is a precious resource to all of us. There are several grass farms in our area that grow grass for lawns for new homes and businesses and I believe they do quite well. To have grass in good supply you have to have water, and we had little or no snow this winter and have had no thunderstorms as of yet. The weathergirl says that we should get rain during the next couple of days. We shall see.
I will enjoy seeing what little green grass there is for the present until it just dries up or we do get that needed moisture to really make it jump out of the ground and take off. I hope the grass is green where you live and I hope you had an enjoyable Easter.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.