Soil Health Labs

40 Unlock Year-Round Grazing through Common Sense Forage Plans

Episode Summary

In this, our second chat with Bart Carmichael, rancher out of Faith SD, we quizzed Bart on his approach to year-round grazing where Bart walks us through why he aims to graze year-round, what he does to make this possible and what benefits he sees from this practice. Given the dry conditions experienced at the time of the podcast, the conversation also turned to drought; Bart is always planning for drought he agrees with fellow rancher Pat Guptill who says (paraphrased) “when we call it a drought plan, we get scared, a drought plan is nothing other than a forage plan”. We discussed a very interesting innovation with Bart, namely destocking without selling off his herd – how does that work? Find out in the podcast. Keep in mind that to be able to support year-round grazing, land needs good management, one of the keys to Adaptive Grazing management is long rest time coupled with high stocking densities. We highlight a quote from Bart in the first 30 seconds of the podcast where he says “I figured up last fall that 99% of my land that I'm in control of is in rest. You know, we're only ever on like 1% of it at any given time. So that way there's always something there and we graze it once and then give it plenty of time to recover and send down the roots and build up soil, and once the soi temperature is up, it’s ready to grow grass...[even] in a drought”. More about Bart: Bart Carmichael and his wife Shannon run the Wedge Tent Ranch ( seed stock operation with their family just north of Faith, SD. Bart is also an educator at heart and is extremely active in the SD Grassland Coalition (see ) . For more information from our sponsor, the USDA-NRCS in South Dakota please visit