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Grazing

Find out how to improve livestock production while maintaining the value of the soil and land.

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Ben Norton, an emeritus professor at Utah State University, penned an article for Progressive Cattleman earlier this year titled “Why science doesn’t support rotational grazing,” which caught a high amount of interest from readers. We asked Norton some follow-up questions for our December year-in-review issue. Here were his responses:

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Farmer and rancher Steve Rader will tell you the drought of 2011 is over. He will also tell you the countryside where he resides and makes a living is consistently a dry country – slow to recover and heal. A Texas native, Rader is the third generation on the land he owns and manages in the Panhandle region near Follett.

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Cattlemen throughout the nation are under increasing scrutiny for land use and conservation measures to stabilize soils and preserve water quality. Kentucky cattleman Jon Bednarski, at Sherwood Acres in Oldham County, is ahead of the curve in those efforts.

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Conservation practices

The concept of land conservation sounds good; it’s the practice that’s difficult. If you have a waterway running through your cattle pasture, for example, conservation becomes much more than a theoretical, feel-good concept; it requires fencing, tree buffer zones or excavated and reinforced access points. It absolutely requires labor, sweat and time.

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Grazing permits and public lands are essential to the operation of the countless ranches that stretch across the western U.S.

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If you visit the doctor, he has a way to tell if you are sick or not. He might take your temperature, check your ears or look into your throat.

Scientists are checking into the health of sagebrush rangelands in the Great Basin, and the prognosis is not good. In areas of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, California, Oregon and Washington, rangelands are under threat from invasive plants.

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