Soil Health Labs

33 Calving with Nature Cuts Costs for Year-Round Grazing

Episode Summary

In this second of two chats with rancher, Pat Guptill (Quinn, SD), we discuss how he can graze his livestock year-round and (to us, at least) the surprising link between year-round grazing and calving on grass (so when you see fawns out on the prairie, that’s the time to calve in your area). Pat’s basic philosophy on year-round grazing and calving on grass is “we can’t make our calves worth more, so we need to figure out how to raise that calf with less inputs”. Listen with us as Pat discusses how he does that in this podcast and provides some helpful tips on how one begins down the year-round grazing path. Pat also addresses weaning times, concerns like low Body Condition Score (BCS) for mama cows in March (and how that looks to others) and calf weights at market time hint: Pat’s calves may be lighter than others, but he sells more beef because his calf survival rates are so much higher. Pat is passionate about mentoring folks who are interested in improving their land and is a board member of the SD Grassland Coalition. Pat can be contacted through the SD Grassland Coalition website ( Pat is a big proponent of grazing schools and Ranching for Profit Workshops: Watch for an announcement from SD Grassland Coalition for the 2022 Grazing School: Watch for Soil Health Workshops and Conferences at: Watch also for Ranching for Profit Schools: In addition, we provide some video links that feature Pat: 2013 SD Leopold Award: A 2014 video by SDSU visits with Pat about High Stock Density grazing (Pat doesn’t necessarily like to use the words “Mob Grazing”): In 2021, Pat and wife Mary Lou (through the SD NOLO project) discuss “Understanding the Connection: Stress Reduction Through Soil Health”: Check out free resources at the NRCS: