e119. From Traditional to Regenerative Grazing with Mike Bassett

e119. From Traditional to Regenerative Grazing with Mike Bassett

Join us for an engaging episode where we explore the transformative journey of Mike, a third-generation cattle and crop farmer from central Iowa, as he transitions from conventional farming to regenerative grazing practices. Mike candidly shares his frustrations with overgrazing and the inspiration he drew from his grandfather to adopt management-intensive rotational grazing. He takes us through the learning curve of measuring forage, setting up a daily move system, and developing a forage measurement tool. Mike’s story underscores the importance of hands-on learning and experimentation in improving farm sustainability and efficiency.

We also discuss the intricacies of rotational grazing management, emphasizing the need for accurate calibration and measurement of forage availability and livestock needs. Using tools like spreadsheets and mapping apps, we explore methods for estimating total dry matter in a paddock and determining its support duration for a herd. Mike shares personal anecdotes about managing hayfields, adjusting strategies during drought conditions, and the benefits of underutilizing grass to prevent overgrazing. The conversation highlights the role of technology in optimizing pasture rotations and the unexpected advantages of natural events.

Finally, we delve into the management of grazing and cover crops, examining the long-term impacts of reintroducing animal activity to previously inactive land. Mike shares his experiences with different cover crops and the challenges of integrating them with grazing schedules and weather events. We also touch on the unexpected outcomes of government-mandated tree planting and its implications for agricultural practices. The episode concludes with insights on cattle herd management, emphasizing the importance of both traditional education and modern resources, such as social media and online communities, in mastering regenerative grazing practices. Tune in to discover valuable resources and tools for effective grazing management and to hear practical innovations that can enhance daily farm operations.

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Regenerative Grazing,Sustainability,Efficiency,Farming,Conventional Practices,Rotational Grazing,Forage Measurement,Livestock Needs,Technology,Cover Crops,Drought,Multi-Generational Farm,Social Media,Online Communities,Hands-On Learning,Education,Continuous Learning,Farm Management,Fence Setup,Fence Tester,