Grass & Water: Livestock Workshop in Poteau, OK
Every rancher knows cattle can't last long without grass and water. The most successful ones coordinate their management of those two resources to maximize both profits and sustainability. A June 4 livestock workshop will explain how the Kerr Center puts that strategy into practice.
The day-long workshop, running from 9 to 4 at the Center's ranch near Poteau, OK, will demonstrate how the Kerr ranch stretches its grass by spreading watering points as evenly as possible, and grazing any given pasture as little as twice a year.
When water sources are few and far between, cattle graze less efficiently. They spend time trekking between grass and water when they could otherwise be grazing or resting. They trample paths to ponds and tanks, and leave the farther reaches of pastures ungrazed.
On the Kerr ranch, buried water lines fill tanks from ponds by gravity flow, keeping the herd within a few hundred feet of water at all times.
Having multiple watering points lets Cattle Manager Will Lathrop divide the ranch into many smaller pastures, resting the majority of the acreage for most of the year. That boosts grass production, and paves the way to “stockpiling” forage for the cattle to graze outside the growing season, when many producers spend time and money feeding hay.
In addition to these broad strokes, the workshop will feature fine details of managing both water and grass, covering such topics as:
- using old tractor tires as an economical source of watering tanks,
- fencing cattle out of streams and ponds to improve water quality and limit erosion,
- estimating available forage and planning grazing rotations,
- setting up temporary electric fencing, and more.
Kerr Center workshops are small and informal, with plenty of time for attendees to ask questions and compare notes. They feature both classroom presentations and time out on the ranch.
Registration is due by May 27, but early registration is encouraged to be sure of a place. Registration costs $25 ($15 for each additional family member), and includes lunch and snacks. (Refunds are available for cancellations made by the due date.)
For more information or to register, visit the events calendar at www.kerrcenter.com, call 918.647.9123, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.