The common-sense grazing planning of Kansas cow-calf operator Keith Long was featured in the August edition of Beef Producer.
His methods show how easy grazing planning and record keeping can be for grazing managers. This is true despite the fact Long moves cattle daily throughout most of the growing season and every other day through most of the dormant season on the ranch he leases near Beaumont, Kan.
His methods are simple but classic and useful. Nearly every top grass manager, as well as those who teach controlled grazing agree records are the keys to success in planning and operating a managed grazing operation.
Long operates a little over 3,700 acres of native rangeland and has about 250,000 pounds of stock, including cows, calves and bulls. The property is divided into permanent paddocks of 50-80 acres but Long wants daily moves in the growing season and nearly that in dormant season for the best combination of animal performance and forage health and recovery. His calculations show about 10 acres per day is what he needs in the growing season.
Related: See Mob Grazing In Action
He lays out each new temporary paddock at home and puts the GPS coordinates into his handheld GPS. Then he uses his four-wheeler to quickly string polywire and create the new paddock.
He also checks regularly to match forage needs to available forage tonnage.
Long also keeps a nice set of yearly records which help him make future decisions based on previous year's events.
Like many grazing managers, he keeps grazing charts which show when livestock were in which paddocks, how many, what type and for how long. Some of this he adds that to his GPS-based grazing maps by color coding for cows and calves or for calves alone.
You can view Keith Long's PowerPoint presentation about his grazing management and recordkeeping by downloading the slides below.