I wanted to invite Matt Robbins to the show because I knew his journey is going to motivate you and push you to the exact steps you need to take action.
He has superb genetics, better and leafier pastures, great body condition in his cattle and work/life balance.
You see, after doing rotational grazing (all kinds of it) since 2001, he has been doing Total Grazing for 2 years and just this recent year he has implemented what he has learned in the program.
Without those things that he learned he wouldn't be able to be where he is today. He was missing a few critical things that really improved the productivity of the land, the health of their cows and their own wellbeing.
Want to know what they are? Listen to this great podcast episode with Matt. He shares what were the most important steps he had to take to get the results he now has.
I asked him what he wanted to say to people who were in the fence about enrolling in the program and this is what he said, "Save yourself...
I am Jim Elizondo and this is Fat Cows, Fat Wallet.
Today’s topic is, “Make better use of the grass you already have”.
One of my mottos is to always work with what you already have. If we are always thinking about when I have better grass, when I improve my cattle genetics, when my land is improved and so on, when I have more rain, when I have a better year, less work, and the list goes on and on. If we are waiting for the perfect moment, it will for sure, never come.
So today we are going to talk about using what you have. Make better use of the grass that you have right now, at this moment.
Now, you have been listening to me for a while and you know that I always, always say that what determines profitability is the number of productive animals you can carry at a low cost per year.
What I also mention is that a long time ago, myriads of animal species in nature used to graze it all and now, we use electric fences and high animal density with our cattle to...
Hello, I am Jim Elizondo from Real Wealth Ranching
Today we will talk about Total grazing and adapted genetics/selection guidelines.
When we start to implement the process of total grazing in your land you may need, for better results, to use adapted genetics with correct selection guidelines. Then, what should we do? Only total grazing? Or at the same time implement adapted genetics with correct selection guidelines?
The good news is that this doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, I want you to consider how this two big subjects' impact or can impact your cattle business. You will come out of this podcast with a decision. Will you implement total grazing and use adapted genetics/correct selection guidelines? Will you only do total grazing? Or maybe a little of both?
I’m going to say up front: to achieve the best results in our ranches/farms it is important to increase our grass production using low-cost biological methods, increase our harvest efficiency to...
Hello, welcome to the first episode of the Fat Cows, Fat Wallet Podcast. I’m your host, Jim Elizondo.
When I’m out in the world and I’m speaking with other ranchers or farmers and they ask me what type of grazing I do, and I explain to them, the looks I get from them are very entertaining and show a lot of confusion.
Sometimes they just change the topic or they’ll say something like, “Oh that’s cool”. But all in all, I usually have to explain what I mean. And I thought, you know, I bet others of my Total Grazing students deal with the same thing. So why not start this podcast with an episode to help all of us to better explain what we do, because it goes beyond an isolated grazing event. It’s more advanced than that, it’s more detailed than that and it’s part of a bigger picture. So in today’s episode, I talk in detail about what exactly Total Grazing is and how it works within a ranching business. And...
As we know, the leaf to stem ratio determines the level of available energy for growth in the plant and how much energy can be used to feed soil microorganisms by root exudates. These soil microorganisms, in return, make nutrients in the soil available to the plants. It is a virtuous cycle that depends on the leaf to stem ratio.
This is so due to the leaves producing energy through photosynthesis and the stems consuming energy by respiring.
We also know that leaf has higher digestibility, 60-70 percent while stems only have around 30-40 percent. This means your cattle will have better nutrition when they consume more leaf.
Now, how can we quantify how much leaf, by weight we have in relation to stems?
We need to remember that stems weight much more than leaves.
1.- Cut one square yard of grass flush with the soil
2.- Weight it on a scale
3.- Separate the green leaves from the stems and brown leaves
4.- Weight them each in their own separate bag
5.- Divide the weight of...
Many times, we can profit from overseeding higher producing annuals or perennials on our pastures in different times of the year.
While tilling the soil or using herbicides may give a better stand or an earlier and higher yield compared to no till drilling without herbicides or tilling, you can still benefit from this practice by timely severe grazing and or mowing.
No till drilling Sudan grass in cool season forages to get higher forage production in the summer slump is one example. Another could be incorporating new herbs, like Chicory or plantain, into cool season forages for better drought resistance in milder environments.
Another could be no till drilling of tall grass prairie species into cool season forages.
In all these cases we need to consider two things:
1.- The allelopathic effect of the established pasture
2.- Good seed to soil contact
For the allelopathic effect we can play with the season to make sure the established pasture species are dormant or weakened...
Overgrazing happens when an individual plant is re grazed before it has fully recovered from the previous grazing. It's not the same as severe grazing where if adequate rest is given, promotes leaf production and a better leaf to stem ratio that allows the plant to be more productive.
Under Total grazing we strive to harvest as high a % as possible and in practice we usually achieve 80-90% harvest efficiency. This is very high as when machine cutting for hay harvest efficiency is usually lower.
Under Selective grazing cattle harvest, by definition, a lower quantity of forage than under Total Grazing, usually 30-50%.
Let’s think about the consequences of this.
Under Selective grazing, where they harvest only 30% of available forage means that only one third of the available cow/days is harvested by the cattle.
The cow/days harvested per acre determines, in a given area, how many days pass between grazing and the herd returning, which is the rest period.
Harvesting 90% of...
Today we will talk about C4 or warm season grasses.
Like: Bermuda grass, Bahia grass, Vasey grass, Guinea grass, Kikuyu, Pangola, etc.
C4 grasses, in general, are lower in protein and energy than cool season or C3 forages, plus they are higher in fiber.
To get better animal performance in your animals; daily gain or milk production you need to graze these species in a younger stage as when they mature their protein and energy diminish while their fiber increases.
The advantage these C4 grasses have over C3 forages is their much higher production per year and their higher water conversion rate into tons of forage dry matter per acre, besides being the perfect complement to C3 forages when they are together in the same pasture.
As will be seen in the Total grazing online course, the best way to manage them is with Total grazing, but at a younger stage.
It is important that the grazing be Total so a shift to undesirable species does not occur, under selective grazing your animals will...
Today I am going to talk about C3 or cool season forages.
Conventional nutritionists, in general, balance rations on net maintenance energy, net gain energy and net lactation energy, this does not help much when we need to make the best decision to determine the stage of maturity of our forage to graze it, and most importantly how to graze it, as selective grazing can cause health problems. For example, they tell us that a young C3 grass is higher in energy and protein with low fiber content which leads to higher daily intake, but they cut machine cut it and use it on a total mixed ration in a corral! If we take these recommendations and graze our cool season or C3 forages: alfalfa, ryegrass, clovers, orchard grass when very young we will have health problems in our livestock: bloat, diarrhea, nitrates, caused by excess protein in relation to available energy and a very low fiber content. This can also happen in very young C4 grasses.
We need to know that a protein excess in the...