Animal Production

Bale Grazing to Build Soil Health

Erin and Drew Gaugler are exploring and documenting the impact of bale grazing on their North Dakota farm. Outreach activities like their "mailbox tour" are helping the siblings share their findings with neighboring producers.

New Research Tackles Concerns About Grazing Corn Residue

Since the 1850’s, several states in the North Central region have dominated corn production nationally, earning the nickname “The Corn Belt.” It should come as no surprise, then, that corn residue is abundant in the region. Rick Rasby, Associate Dean of Extension, professor, and Beef Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) says corn residue can […]

North Coast Lamb Co-op: Using Carcass Scanning for Producer Production Criteria

1865 was a historic year in American history. Abraham Lincoln was president, the Civil War was coming to a close, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, and the National Wool Growers Association was formed. This first-ever national livestock association in the U.S. laid the groundwork for the organization we know today as the American Sheep Industry […]

Optimal Flock Size for Pasture Raised Layers

A number of growers, especially those on small or mid-scale diversified farms, are choosing to raise poultry in alternative ways, many of them reliant upon pasture. Aaron Brower, along with his wife Mary, own and operate Bluestem Farm, a diversified, 4-season farm in Northern lower Michigan. They raise certified organic vegetables on 10 acres. They […]

Feasibility, Planning, and Purchase of Mobile Processing Unit (MPU)

Pasture poultry, with its quick turn-around and minimal equipment needs can be attractive to small farmers looking to diversify their farming operations. Chris Sramek is a pasture poultry producer and a member of the High Plains Food Co-op (HPFC); in 2013, customer interest in their poultry was so high that the producer members were unable […]

Economics of Grazing and Haying Cover Crops in North Central Kansas

Grown on an estimated 10 million acres across the country, cover crops are becoming an indispensable part of crop rotations. To maintain this momentum, the development of reliable information at the local level—how to craft a diversified rotation that pays—needs to keep pace with growth in farmers’ interest. That is what motivated Josh Roe to […]

Developing Michigan’s Local, Pasture-Based, Beef Production System

Whether it’s on dinner tables, in restaurants, in schools, or at markets, consumers are seeking more local food. More than 167,000 U.S. farms produced and sold local food through direct marketing in 2015, representing $8.7 billion in revenue (USDA-NASS, 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey). In 2010, the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation and Michigan […]

South Dakota Rancher Explores Sustainable Livestock Fly Control

Linda Simmons is a cattle rancher in Twin Brooks, South Dakota. Beef and sheep producers in northeastern South Dakota depend largely on native rangeland, and there are several species of flies that can cause serious economic losses there. Several years ago, Simmons experienced a failure with her feed-through insecticide plan. “We had a terrible incident of […]

Mob Grazing Increases Efficiency and Profitability of Livestock Production

Mob grazing is a recent development in grazing management that uses extremely high stocking densities for short periods of time to improve soil health, pasture productivity and carrying capacity. Alexander “Sandy” Smart is a professor of Natural Resource Management in Range Science at South Dakota State University. He has a passion for the preservation of […]

Confinement Building Redesign Sheds ‘Sunlight’ on Animal Welfare

Paul Sobocinski  has a 240 acre crop and livestock farm that includes hogs and cattle. In 2001, he received a SARE grant for the conversion of an existing pole barn to a deep bedded sow and piglet nursery. In 2012 he received a second NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant for $7,450 to renovate an existing 24 […]

Adapting Cover Crops to Northern Climate Conventional Cropping Systems

Northeast Minnesota is home to a large beef cow-calf sector, several dairy farms, and an increasing amount of cash grain farming. In each of these types of operations, annual cultivation of corn, soybeans, oats, and barley is common.  Annual cultivation of these crops can lead to high rates of nutrient leaching and soil erosion, decreased […]

Finishing Time and Weights of Grass-fed Beef Animals

For more than 20 years, Jane Jewett has owned WillowSedge Farm near Palisade, Minneosta. She and her family raise and direct-market pork, poultry, lamb, and grass-fed beef on 113 acres. An increasing interest in grass-fed beef operations led Jewett to make the transition to grass-fed beef in 2008. Her interest in applying for an NCR-SARE […]

The Bison Producer’s Handbook

This comprehensive book about American bison production and marketing has information for veteran farmers/ranchers and newcomers alike.

Managing Drought Risk On the Ranch

Producers throughout the nation continue to grow increasingly concerned about water scarcity. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural educators are exploring new approaches to the challenges associated with water shortage and drought. The National Drought Mitigation Center, (NDMC) based in Lincoln, NE, has a mission of “helping people and institutions develop and implement measures to reduce societal […]

Bovine Mastitis Treatment

While mastitis is the most frequent disease condition in dairy cattle, the most common treatment for it -antibiotics- aren’t used in organic milk production. Mastitis affects animal health, longevity in the herd, and the production of quality milk. Although non-antibiotic products for mastitis have been marketed, limited data is available regarding the safety and efficacy […]

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination (AI) has become widely popular in breeding livestock, because it allows farmers to make faster genetic improvement in their animals, enhance biosecurity, and decrease breeding related costs of production. Despite these benefits, some farmers are hesitant to use sheep breeding because sheep have a complex reproductive anatomy. Farmer Don Brown and Dr. Craig […]

Aquaponics in the Classroom

Students at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy are being exposed to their core science concepts in a new way. They are learning biology, chemistry, physics, and other core scientific concepts through hands-on modules based on an aquaponics system. Through an NCR-SARE Youth Educator grant, instructors Kevin Savage and Gary Delanoy have created a curriculum that meets […]