Latest articles


Cattle marketing across the miles

In the Aussie system, agents handle E-auction

Editor’s Note: Keep in mind seasons in Australia are reversed: spring — September to November; summer — December to February; autumn — March to May and winter — June to August. At our grazing operation, Alcheringa Pastoral in Victoria, Australia, we have generally purchased cattle in late spring, after I arrive in October, and sell […] Read more


Keeping soil biology ticking

Pasture Management: Grazing setbacks happen, but find opportunities to get back on track

Normal weather” at 4 Clover Ranch near Rocky Mountain House, Alta. has been illusive for a couple of years at least and it has created some grazing challenges at the expense of pasture performance. Our planned grazing system, where we look at the health of the grass on an ongoing basis, has responded well over […] Read more



Report From Down Under: Holistic approach is working

Management changes for the growing conditions producing benefits

My wife Helen and I took a six-day course a couple of years ago learning the principles of The Savory Institute’s holistic management as they apply to grazing. In a nutshell, the course taught the process of decision-making and planning that give land managers the insights and management tools to understand nature in the restoration […] Read more


Rain at the right time

A sudden turn in moisture conditions made all the difference

I am back up on 4 Clover Ranch near Rocky Mountain House, Alta., having arrived a week ago and getting our custom grazing operation going with cow-calf pairs trucked in as this is written. Meanwhile back at our Alcheringa Pastoral (Australia), Helen happily reported that our steer sale in late May had gone well. We […] Read more



Grazing challenges in a dry environment

Dung scores and gut fill are important indicators of how cattle are doing

When I arrived back in Australia in late October last year, Helen had organized the purchase of some steers and they were happily grazing on our farm and had adjusted well to the electric fence, skim grazing over the new seeding I had seeded earlier in May. October is springtime and the growth was pretty […] Read more


Restoring vigour to tired pasture

This planned grazing system appears to be returning about $77 per acre

When 4-Clover Ranch, near Rocky Mountain House, Alta. came into existence in 1992, there was one particular pasture close to the farmyard that the previous owner was reluctant to show us. He called it sodbound and needing a good plowing. I hesitated to follow his plowing advice as it had a good southerly slope and […] Read more



Soil fungi key to grass production

The soil is a complex world working hard to complete natural cycling

We always enjoy the cattle on 4-Clover Ranch near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. It was our own animals back in the day and now someone else’s are on the farm for summer grazing. Fact is, we are really grass farmers and have chosen to harvest the grass with cattle rather than the haybine. We have […] Read more


Optimism stoked the Australian cattle market

Indicators favoured a strong cattle market in Australia but time will tell if strength will be maintained

Earlier this year I participated in a webinar sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia and came away with some incredible optimism and understanding more clearly why the Australian cattle frenzy is continuing. The stars are indeed lining up in 2015 for Australian cattle producers and the new record prices set on a daily basis from […] Read more



Be on the lookout for water hemlock

About 1-1/2 pounds of leaves or a bite of a bulb is enough to kill a cow

You are typically hearing from me with an Australian story but for a change I am reporting to you from our 4-Clover Ranch south east of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Since coming back in late May we have endured a very dry spring and summer. While a good 125 mm of rain has fallen since […] Read more


cattle

Simple Bud Box adds ease to cattle handling

Famed cattle handler Bud Williams left a legacy with a design that’s been copied across the world

I always marvel at farmer innovations and the fact some people continue the search for “a better mousetrap” even as you might say they are getting “long in the tooth.” The late Bud Williams was an exemplary lifelong learner, fine-tuning ways to handle livestock throughout his life and never passing up the opportunity to share […] Read more