Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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Opening statements today in appeal to protect DACA; last chance to register to vote in MO August primary; and mapping big-game routes.

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Highland Park mass shooting witnesses describe horrific scene, police release details about shooter, and Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, receive subpoenas as part of an investigation surrounding former President Trump.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Room to Roam – or Not? Innovative Grazing Techniques in MN

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Monday, August 2, 2010   

NEW PRAGUE, Minn. - Images of cows roaming free come to mind when people think of grass-fed cattle. But giving cows too much free rein on pasture is actually not the best choice for their diet, or the land, an expert says. Howard Moechnig, grasslands specialist with Midwest Grasslands, says if left to their own devices, cattle will act like kids, "cherry-picking" their favorite plants to eat and ignoring or trampling the rest.

"So what happens over time is the better plants end up becoming suppressed because they just don't have the chance to regain strength. Poorer plants - the ones the animals don't like - they tend to flourish, so the pasture tends to go downhill."

Moechnig says breaking up pasture into smaller parcels or "paddocks" is a more effective grazing technique that leads to more nutritious plants and healthier soil. It also encourages wildlife development.

While this approach to grazing has slowly gained popularity over the past couple of decades, he says only about 15 percent to 20 percent of Minnesota's pasturelands are managed in this way.

With good pasture, Moechnig says supplemental feeding with grain can be minimized or even eliminated, which makes for happier animals that produce better results.

"For dairy cattle, it means more milk production. For beef cattle that are being finished off, it means they can be finished on pasture. And for beef cows with calves, it means they will have, most likely, heavier weaning weights in the fall, and their animals will breed back better."

The Land Stewardship Project is hosting a field day event with information about innovative grazing on Aug. 7 at Cedar Summit Farm in New Prague. Preregistration is required; get information at www.landstewardshipproject.org or by e-mailing nicko@landstewardshipproject.org.

For more information about grazing, visit www.farmbeginnings.org.






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