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Adaptive Grazing Article in Dakota Farmer

We’re excited that Dakota Farmer has published an article (11/3/2023) by veteran journalist Kurt Lawton on adaptive grazing. Lawton draws you in in the first line (you’re going to have to read the article) and from there takes the reader through the nuanced world of adaptive grazing. He draws from the principles of adaptive management set out by grazing management practitioner, consultant, and former academic, Allen Williams. Still, he applies this to a real-world picture that Rancher, Justin Thompson (Mobridge, SD) paints for us based on his experience with the cool season invasives, namely smooth brome, crested wheatgrass, and especially Kentucky bluegrass.


Justin is on the left with Rayn beer, SD NRCS Area Rangeland Management Specialist.  Photo was taken by Mitch Kezar.
Justin Thompson (left) with Rayn beer(right), SD NRCS Area Rangeland Management Specialist. Photo was taken by Mitch Kezar.

Learn why sticking to prescriptions may get us into trouble, why sometimes, more hoof action (disturbance) is called for, and why observation is key to adaptive management. Here are a few quotes to whet the reader’s appetite: “I’ve never been more passionate and excited about agriculture now because of adaptive stewardship,” Williams says. “Good observation creates a keen intuition that makes producers far better decision makers.”


Justin Thompson says: “There are no cut-and-dried answers, but I have the responsibility to improve and do the best I can while raising a family with this livelihood”

Kurt Lawton used materials produced by GrowingResilienceSD including the ‘Adaptive Grazing Masterclasspodcast, the ‘SD Rancher's Unique Approach to Manage Cool Season Invasives” podcast, and video material from a feature on adaptive grazing that GrowingResilienceSD will soon release.


Read the full article [here] and start implementing these valuable insights on your own land. Your pastures will thank you for it!



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