Presentation from Soil Talk Workshop #3: November 4, 2016 in Blanco, Texas
Grazing management tools, rules, and guidelines
Talk by Dr. Tim Steffens, de-mystifying the benefits of multi-paddock grazing systems and clarifying the sometimes-surprising relationships between stocking rates, stock density, recovery period, animal distribution, and timing. (6.8 mb pdf file)
Presentations from Soil Talk Workshop #2: October 22, 2016 in Wimberley, Texas
(1) Ecosystem Tools & Monitoring
Talk by Peggy Sechrist, outlining tools for managing the ecosystem and principles of monitoring environmental changes. (1.6 mb pdf file)
(2) Restoring Uplands: the Tools to Use
Talk by Dr. Richard Teague, explaining how adaptive multi-paddock grazing can be used to restore and improve upland ecosystem function. (2.2 mb pdf file)
(3) Review of Riparian Function
Talk by Steve Nelle, explaining a variety of tools that can be used to restore riparian areas to health. (7.6 mb pdf file)
Presentations from Soil Talk Workshop #1: September 30, 2016 in Wimberley, Texas
(1) Ecosystem Function
Talk by Peggy Sechrist, outlining basic ecological principles, ecosystem processes, and functions of a health soil foodweb. (6 mb pdf file)
(2) Managing Upland Grazing to Restore Soil Health and Farm Livelihoods
Talk by Dr. Richard Teague, explaining landscape impacts of various livestock management systems and presenting research results on using adaptive multi-paddock grazing to improve the health of soils and upland vegetation. (6 mb pdf file)
(3) Introduction to Riparian Function: Understanding Creeks, Rivers and Riparian Areas
Talk by Steve Nelle, explaining how healthy riparian areas function, how creeks work, and how livestock management changes can play a role in restoring damaged creeks and riparian areas to health. (12 mb pdf file)
Gabe Brown: Keys to Building a Healthy Soil
North Dakota farmer Gabe Brown discusses his five key points for building a healthy soil. Filmed November 18, 2014 at the Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s annual symposium. (1 hour video)
Soil Carbon Cowboys
Meet Allen Williams, Gabe Brown and Neil Dennis three ranchers who know how to regenerate their soils while making their animals healthier and their operations more profitable. (12 minute video)
Gabe Brown: Regeneration of Our Lands: A Producer’s Perspective
Gabe Brown took the principles of improving soil health and began applying them in the mid 1990’s, before people were talking about them. Since then he has been collaborating with local scientists to measure the amazing results on his land which averages just 14 inches of rain per year. Filmed at TEDx Grand Forks. (16 minute video)
Conquest of the Land through Seven Thousand Years
1939 study by W.C. Lowdermilk of worldwide impacts of soil erosion, deforestation, and overgrazing, still relevant today. Reprinted by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. (717 kb pdf file)
Healthy Soils for Life
Andre Leu article reprinted with permission from Acres USA (July 2015, Vol. 45, No. 7). (1.2 mb pdf file)
Rehydrating the Earth: a New Paradigm for Water Management
Richard Widows article from Holistic Science Journal (2015, Vol 2, Issue 4).
SOS: Save Our Soils
Dr. Christine Jones explains the link between carbon and healthy topsoil. Reprinted with permission from Acres USA (March 2015, Vol. 45, No. 3). (230 kb pdf file)
Water for the Recovery of the Climate–a New Water Paradigm
M. Kravich, J. Pokorny, J. Kohutiar, M. Kovac, E. Toth, 2007. Available from www.waterparadigm.org. Free 94 page pdf download.
Selected ATTRA Publications on Grazing and Soils (free downloads)
A Brief Overview of Nutrient Recycling in Pastures
Nutrients cycle through soil organisms, plants, and grazing livestock. Good management enhances the nutrient cycle, increases productivity, and reduces costs.
Grazing Calculator: Extended Cow-Calf Pair
Provides a simple means of analyzing your grazing program as you work your way through the grazing season. (Excel spreadsheet)
Paddock Design, Fencing, and Water Systems for Controlled Grazing
Covers basics of paddock design and current fencing and water technology.
Pasture, Rangeland, and Grazing Management
Profiles types of pastures and rangelands and discusses management, expected yields, and weed management, including tips for rehabilitating depleted land.
Feed costs decline and animal health improves when livestock periodically move to fresh paddocks, allowing pastures time to recover before they are grazed again.
Selected Publications from HMI: Holistic Management International
Free Download Packages
Packages on “Introduction to Holistic Management,” “Holistic Grazing Planning,” and “Holistic Financial Planning.”
Creating Healthy Land: The Four Ecosystem Processes
An ecosystem manual covering Ecosystem Basics, the Water Cycle, the Mineral Cycle, Biological Community, Energy Flow, and other topics. (4 mb pdf file)
Explains how to perform a rapid visual assessment of rangeland health, establish a long-term monitoring program, and build a complete picture of rangeland health to guide management decisions. (6.7 mb pdf file)
Texas Soil Testing Labs
A&L Plains Agricultural Laboratories, Lubbock, TX
Soil analysis reports include % organic matter, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium & calcium, sodium, soil pH, buffer index, cation exchange capacity, % base saturation, nitrate, sulfur, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, boron, excess lime rate, and soluble salts.
Texas Plant & Soil Lab, Edinburg, TX
Offer a wide variety of soil test packages using the Carbon Dioxide Extraction Method, which measures soil nutrients immediately available to the plant as well as those “in reserve” or slowly-available.