Shepherd note: Mar 14, 2017

So we have had historic rains which have been great, but is has also kept the temps lower then normal longer. In the last few days here we have seen some warm days and the grass has really been on the move and growing. Some of the brome and roadside oats are going to seed a little bit. The rest of the grass is moving quickly into a phase 2 vegetative state and I wonder for how long. Overall it seems like the season will be later and hopefully longer.

Shepherd note: Feb 20, 2017

This seasons rainfall has been pretty relentless. While we appreciate it and our grateful for it, it adds it’s own flavor to the mix. While the early October rains got the grass started off early then continued rains through the winter and colder weather has kept that initial grass growth leveled off. A few breaks in the rain in early – mid February has started the grass growth in certain locations such as our Cayetana ranch.  However on Mitsui grass we grazed 40+ Days ago has not recovered as yet and looks to be a little slower coming on as it was last year.

Shepherd note: Feb 02, 2017

Well, this has been the wettest season I have ever seen grazing. It is obviously needed and we welcome it. It has also brought so much wet and cold that the grass has just not really grown since November much. We are very lucky we left a great amount of residual behind at Mitsui and our other locations as this helped protect the soil from too much impact in the heavy rains. We think this years larger herds have been better and had a better more uniform impact. Together with the larger herds, residual and rain the impact so far has been pretty great. They are definitely impacting the soil, but the hove prints are pretty light for the most part and they are not punching through regularly. It will be great to see how the grass grows come March.

Shepherd note: Jan 09, 2017

We were able to get through parts of Petaluma SMI with both the smaller dairy heard weighing about 50,000 pounds and for a few days had the whole Dairy and Beef heard at about 210,000 pounds. We would have like to have them at the ranch longer, but  we needed to get out ahead of the storms that came in early January. Either way it was good to get a winter graze in at Petaluma. It churned in a good deal of the residual from last year in places which I think was a good thing. It would have been better to get over more ground with the herd, but something is better then nothing. Looking forward to bring them back from hilltop in April/May.

Shepherd note: Dec 12, 2016

Getting ready to receive cattle at the Petaluma SMI ranch. Despite the cold weather the past few weeks there is a lot of material right now out there. The grasses seem so much further along then last year. It would be good to get a winter graze on this property for the first time since we began managing to change things up a bit.  Look forward to seeing the results.

Shepherd note: Dec 08, 2016

Getting ready to receive cattle in a week. The weather has turned much colder and steady rains are here. The grass growth we saw in October and November has seemed to slow down to a halt. However there is a lot more vegetative plant material this year then the same time last year. It will be interesting to see how many Animal Days the cattle get out of the Grass this year with the additional material. Curious if the additional material will improve performance and keep the supply about the same as last year, or if they will actually fill up and have more total animal says overall.

Shepherd note: Nov 03, 2016

We were concerned that we had possibly left to much cover behind during the 2015/2016 grazing season. However the early October rains and a few warm sunny days knocked those concerns away. The grass is growing gangbusters up through the canopy of residual which is encouraging to see.

Shepherd note: Nov 03, 2016

With Sustained combined early October Rains and some warm sunny days we have a good deal of grass growing up through our residual grass left over from last year. It will be interesting to see how this grass year shapes up for us.

Shepherd note: Jun 09, 2016

Closing out the cattle season and noticing how late May and Early June is when the Medusa head grass really shows up. It is such a late bloomer in it’s phenology. In this photo there is a lot of rye, but in there as well there is Medusa head. It’s lime green seed heads really stand out now.

Shepherd note: May 30, 2016

May 24th in this photo on High Knowles at Mitsui. With Late rains the grass still holds some green, but everything is going to seed. It is hard to determine exactly what is and isn’t palatable out there right now as the cattle cannot get through all the material in front of them and we do not want to force them to eat everything. So we just keep them moving.

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