Gabe Brown: High-Stock-Density Grazing

Gabe Brown

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See how this innovative farmer manages multi-species grazing along with cropping on his over 5,000-acre North Dakota farm. Beyond a meat and crop production goal, his high-stock-density grazing methods integrated with croplands and winter feeding of cover crops all work together to continuously build soil. High stock densities are needed in order to get the livestock to be both efficient at consuming forage and trampling residue (carbon) onto the soil surface. A fringe benefit of this style of grazing management is the ability to use cattle to control noxious weeds. Brown was able to smoothly convert weedy CRP land into productive pasture.

Gabe Brown has merged back-to-basics agrarian practices with innovative, science-based, sustainable farming techniques on his 5,400-acre diversified North Dakota family ranch for over 15 years. For decades the cropland had been conventionally farmed with tillage and the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides. In 1993 Gabe purchased a no-till drill and converted 100 percent of his cropland to no-till. He practices Holistic Management and employs a diverse cropping strategy on his grain and cattle operation, which includes over 25 different cash and cover crops, resulting in high yields and strong net profits. The Natural Resources Defense Council awarded one of its 2012 Growing Green Awards to Gabe.

(1 hour, 7 minutes, 36 seconds) Recorded at the 2014 Acres U.S.A. Conference, Columbus, Ohio, Friday, December 5, 2014.

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