cattle grazing

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

On a cloudy summer day, Iowa farmer Wendy Johnson lifts the corner of a mobile chicken tractor, a lightweight plastic frame covered in wire mesh that has corralled her month-old meat chickens for a few days, and frees several dozen birds to peck the surrounding area at will. Soon, she’ll sell these chickens to customers at local markets in eastern Iowa.

The demand for beef, pork and chicken raised on smaller farms closer to home is growing. Now, some Midwest farmers, like Johnson, are exploring how to graze livestock to meet those demands while still earning a profit.  

The Agriculture Department is allowing emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acreage in 44 Kansas counties.

The drought has depleted hay supplies and affected the growth of hay and pasture in parts of Kansas.

An official with the Kansas Farm Service Agency says many producers cannot maintain their current herds without the emergency measure.

Ranch Tour Will Focus On Drought, Cattle Grazing

Apr 26, 2013

Kansas farm groups will host a ranch tour next month, focusing on drought and how to best manage resources in the upcoming grazing season.

The tour will take place on May 11 at the Ted Alexander Ranch, 19 miles west of Medicine Lodge.

The Alexander ranch covers 7,000 acres in the heart of the Red Hills in Barber County. The operation typically stocks between 500 and 700 cow-calf pairs or 2,500 yearlings on a rotational grazing method.