Two bins on the edge of a field

Grain on the Brain Podcasts

Season 2, Episode 7 – Livestock Integration

Integrating livestock onto your land can have benefits such as reducing wind erosion, nutrient cycling, building organic matter and increasing phosphorus in the soil. In this episode, hear how Ward Middleton has worked with neighbouring cattle producers to integrate livestock on his land.

Resources

Our resource list this episode is directly from our guest Ward Middleton and includes the resources he has found helpful on his own farm.

For farmers who may be interested in integrating livestock that they do not own, like winter feeding someone else’s cows and are concerned about cost effective ways to make that possible, here are some articles I used:  

Assessing Chaff Feed Value:  https://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/production/beef/increasing-cow-calf-profitability-using-chaff-and-chaff-straw-feedstuffs.html

Value of using hay as a means of nutrient import as part of the “whole farm nutrient balance”:  https://newsroom.unl.edu/announce/beef/3004/16638

The Practical Farmers of Iowa:  https://practicalfarmers.org/

Not necessarily organic, but another organization that puts the bests interests of farming and local community first.

https://practicalfarmers.org/2021/02/crop-livestock-integration-three-ideas/

Rodale Institute:  https://rodaleinstitute.org/

If you want to drill in, this is a page on their site that stirred me:  https://rodaleinstitute.org/why-organic/organic-basics/regenerative-organic-agriculture/

And lastly, the POGI Green Manure Manual: a plug for a resource that is near and dear to me, which i used to help assess the cost effectiveness (dollar wise and nutrient wise) whether it is better to graze off a green manure  / cover crop or to terminate it mechanically.  Here, it states (in 5.3.3) that losses can range between 5-16% when terminating a green manure.  And I have the fullest confidence in the people that put this manual together.  

https://www.pivotandgrow.com/resources/production/green-manures/module-3-managing-green-manures/#1467151887517-e674df54-5dbf

Sponsor

Funding is provided in part by the Canada and Manitoba governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Guest Bio

Ward and his wife Jo-Anne Middleton own and operate an organic farm in Sturgeon County Alberta.

In 1994, at his family’s invitation, Ward and his wife Jo-Anne took over the family farm by purchasing shares from his father and three siblings. After dabbling in various specialty crops, they chose organic production as the way forward. Today, Midmore Farms near Morinville, Alberta grows wheat, rye, oats, barley, flax, canola, peas, fava, alfalfa, sweet clover and some nutraceuticals (milk thistle and sea buckthorn). The couple also custom feed cattle and tend an 80-acre woodlot – a contribution to future generations that enhances biodiversity and is already a haven for wildlife.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Manitoba Organic Alliance.

Contributors

Host: Scott Beaton

Narrator: Karen Klassen

Producer: Karen Klassen

Editor: Jason Peters

Podcast oversight committee: Anne Kirk, Jason Peters, Kim Wilton, Tierra Stokes, Marla Carlson, Deb Tuchelt

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Manitoba Organic Alliance.