Tag Archives: Corriente

Fescue Toxicity

Boy, howdy, now there’s an exciting title and one to really pull in a reader eager to learn about such a thing.  Well, not, of course, but to cattle farmers and ranchers across a great portion of the United States, it’s a reality that sucks an estimated $1 billion out of our collective pockets EACH year!

in 1943 Kentucky 31 variety of fescue was commercially introduced and sold, it seemed at first a godsend to sod forming, persistence, deep rootedness (soil conservation), and production for cattle and other livestock producers.  In the late 1970’s, scientists at last identified that fescue hosts a fungus that can produce toxic compounds called ergovaline.  However, it is important to note, that reports of  toxic effects of grazing infected fescue have been around at least since the early 1900’s.  Why didn’t the light bulb go off that there is a problem that needs addressing BEFORE scattering it all over the US!?  The only answer that seems reasonable is that establishment of the grass is cheap and easy and the resultant health concerns in stock are a silent drain.

Whatever the case may be, I’m now on a mission to eradicate to a degree as much as possible toxic fescue from my pastures.  In so doing, cattle health and numbers should increase, calf gains and cow milking ability should increase as well as reproduction improvements.  Additionally, soil health and tilth should improve, thereby increasing its moisture capturing and holding capacity (resulting in less runoff and erosion).  Lastly, but certainly not least, ridding the pastures of tall fescue will greatly improve wildlife habitat – especially ground nesting species such as quail.

The fruits of this project will likely be for the next generation and i ask myself if it is really worth the expense and effort to make a bold move in such uncertain times of low cattle prices.  Time will tell, i guess.

I think I’ll put these entries in a separate category so my reports and progress can be easily accessed.  I’m no Pioneer Woman like Dee,  (ya gotta admire the outreach she has done with her whit and way with words),  but if you have an interest in organic, no chemical, minimal tillage farming, pasture renovation, cattle rearing for producing clean healthy food while improving (regenerating is the popular term) our environment, come alongside and join the conversation.  I will enjoy any questions.

Cheers!

tauna

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This is a nice photo of my cows, but what you don’t see is that a good portion of what they are grazing is toxic endophyte infected fescue.  In other words, with every bite they are being poisoned.  It’s time to see if the dollars and cents to renovate make sense to change this condition.

 

 

 

Roadbank Grazing

Friday morning the plan was to fence off a portion of Cord Drive to let the cows in to graze the road banks.  Worked perfectly, except the cows had already had their brekkies, i guess ,and were really not interested in grazing!  Next time, i’ll put them on short pasture the night before, then they’ll be eager beavers.

They were mostly interested in watching me sit on the Gator and read my new book, Colorblind, by Amy C. Blake.

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Tools of the trade.

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

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View from my ‘office’ window yesterday.
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Coming out of the pasture into the road.

The Unique Corriente – Overview

Reprinted from North American Corriente Association website.

Corriente Cattle
Corrientes are raised primarily for sports cattle, while preserving such natural attributes as high fertility, early maturity, trouble-free calving, and foraging efficiency, as well as disease and parasite resistance. This unique breed differs greatly in conformation, behavior and hardiness from cattle raised only for meat. Most of the production problems experienced by today’s cattlemen are a result of increasing size and weight in order to fit the current commodity market.  Corrientes remain untainted by the manipulative animal husbandry which has affected and weakened many domestic animals.
The Corriente is a small, agile, athletic animal with stamina, heavy horns, and a gentle disposition.  These characteristics make the Corriente an ideal animal for team roping, bulldogging and an excellent choice for cutting and team penning.

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Calf roping – While it may seem cruel to rope these calves – bear in mind that these calves are very well cared for throughout their lives. They ‘work’ for about 10 seconds every few nights until they are too big for roping or wrestling. Note the condition and health of the calf featured in this photo. Photo courtesy of North American Corriente Association.

New Blog Under Construction!

Corriente and Longhorn cows form the basis for grazing in the green hills of north central Missouri. Raised totally on grass with no added inputs other than salt and mineral, the Red Angus cross calves are developed for finishing on grass alone. Postings to this blog will include personal experiences – both good and bad – with faith, family, and farming. The hope is to share what we learn, challenge, and encourage others in all areas of life. Bear with me as I negotiate the learning curve of setting up a blog.