Will widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture automatically lead to the rejuvenation of rural communities? Derek, Director of Rural Route to Climate Solutions, shares the insights he’s gained while travelling Canada, interviewing agricultural producers about regenerative agriculture.
Our hope is that the series can help with the mental health issues the agriculture sector is grappling with right now. Farming and ranching are stressful businesses, but that’s brought to a whole new level when drought hits. By equipping cow-calf producers with information and words of advice from colleagues and peers in the sector on the best ways to get through a drought, things might not be as stressful in the next drought. Things might not look so bleak either.
In this final episode of the series, we are talking to Ralph Thrall of McIntyre Ranch who shares with us his experience managing grass and cows in a pretty dry part of the province.
Dugouts play an important role in cow-calf operations across Alberta. While some farmers have access to well water, most rely on these man-made reservoirs to provide the necessary water that their cattle need to thrive. However, building, repairing, or expanding these dugouts can come at a high cost, which is why it’s smart for producers to seek advice and resources before breaking ground.
Ben Stuart, who runs two successful farming operations (one in Saskatchewan and the other in Hardisty, Alberta), uses stockpile grazing to extend the grazing season on his farms. But if the grass isn’t growing, how do you stockpile what isn’t available? That’s where preparation comes in. Join us as we discuss stockpile grazing and all the different forms it can take.
In this episode, we chat with Dr. Masaki Hiyashi from the University of Calgary about the often-overlooked importance of groundwater, especially during dry spells. We discuss how groundwater sustains ranches, supports wildlife habitats, and provides water for a variety of household tasks. Join us as we unravel the significance of groundwater and why it’s critical to invest in its replenishment during wet years for a sustainable future.
Have you ever given any thought to what the perfect cow would be for the conditions we experience in Alberta?
In this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Susan Marcus of Lakeland College to talk about selecting and managing cattle traits so that your operation can be profitable during a good year while also getting you through a dry year.
For the remainder of the Getting Through Drought series, we’ll mainly be focusing on grazing management and adjusting grazing during a drought. To start things off, ranchers Blusette and Mark Campbell, out in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan joined us to share some of what they’ve learned about grazing and herd management.
In recent years, mycorrhizal fungi have become a hot topic, especially when talking about soil health.
Mycorrhizal fungi are vast networks of nutrient exchange between plants and other microscopic critters you can find in the soil. Fortunately, the management practices for maintaining this conduit of nutrient exchange tend to be the same ones we’d use in good pasture management.
Can this vast network under our feet help out calf-cow producers in a dry year?
Riparian areas can be a value-added project of the wetlands on your land if you choose to leave your wetlands intact. The wetland itself is great for maintaining the water table and can become an important source of water for your cattle.
In this episode, you’ll be hearing from Art Goerzen of Adullam Ranch to get an additional perspective on why riparian areas can be handy in times of drought.
You could argue that compared to other livestock, cattle are pretty simple to feed – get them grazing during the growing season and feed them bales in the winter. However, this relatively simple feeding system begins to fall apart when you get hit by a drought; forage isn’t growing in your pasture and the price of hay goes through the roof. During a dry year, you might want to look into alternatives to hay that can help your cattle get the baseline nutrition they need and get you and your ranch through the year.
In this episode, we are joined by Barry Yaremcio of Yaremcio Ag Consulting Ltd to learn more about feed alternatives.