Southern Plains Bison: Sept 2014

Busy-busy-busy! Fall in the southern plains is the best and most productive time to be busy in preparation for the cool-season, which is our strongest growing season in the south.  Whether you apply conventional agriculture methods or forward regenerative practices, getting some land care and habitat enhancement boxes checked will be to your advantage. Personally I like as much diversity in my food plot and pasture system as possible. Each year I plan strategic additions to a pragmatic end for soil structure health, bison-forage and wildlife benefit.  It’s always an experiment and always beneficial to my system, which includes the economics of it.

In my travels, I encounter occasional fear of failing when it comes to land care because of the diversity in perspectives and methodologies available, each of which are correct according to someone. The average bison-rancher is, at their core, at least interested in ‘wild-things’ and natural systems. This sometimes comes with an automatic rejection of agricultural technologies applied to habitat care and enhancement, while others are cemented in traditional agriculture methods. With the exception of destroying established natural systems, the only way to fail is doing nothing. It’s about feeding bison, which [can] be about regenerative land care.  Personally, I prefer the method in which each dollar spent results in an accumulative value and productivity with decreased inputs, after which I benefit from bison forage = bison production = economic sustainability.

  Busy-September & October
southwest bison
Happy November !
     Other pro-active fall activities should include developing a strategic plan for weaning/ or not weaning and marketing the production of the herd. Fall is the time to plan, so that as the year evolves and winter sets in, you are on schedule [ish] depending what cards Mom-Nature deals.  Decisions should be made based on the carrying capacity of the land, feed costs and availability, and market cycle. If you don’t like the market and have feed, you can wait and let them grow. If you like the current market, you can get it all over with for the year. The key is feed! Green or otherwise, feed is your most strategic asset and should be on your mind in the fall. Personally I am never [not] thinking about feed – just like my buffalo.
Tim Frasier,
  Frasier Bison logo