Home > News > How to Leverage Cattle for Soil-Health Improvements

Running cattle on farmland can be a mixed bag for many farmers, even the most soil-health-minded ones. Even on good soils, as little as a half inch of rain could create problems in fields where cattle have been grazed. However, Tom Cannon, a farmer from Oklahoma, has incorporated both no-till and livestock grazing to increase the organic matter – and therefore, productivity – of his soil.

After trial and error for the better part of a decade, Cannon learned that moisture remained the limitation in his soil-health journey. But this fourth generation farmer says had he cracked the code on cattle grazing sooner, he likely would have seen organic matter gains much less time. Using cattle as a tool to build soil health takes time and expertise. He began by preventing hoof pugging by pulling cattle off the wet cropland and onto refuge areas of bermudagrass for two or three days until the crop recovered. And, by leveraging cover crops and crop rotation along with a diverse cropping system, Cannon has increased his soil organic matter.

Read more on leveraging cattle for cropland production here.


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