|Über uns||Using multi-species grazing to help preserve a little piece of prairie in an expanding sea of corn.|
|Mission||Environmental and economic sustainability.|
The Double M is a pasture-based multi-species livestock operation that features 12 month grazing with minimum use of mechanically produced-harvested-delivered feedstuffs(MPHD). Target brood stock numbers are about: 40 does, 250 ewes and 40 mother cows, although we are still recovering numbers after de-stocking for the 2011-2014 drought.
Land: The land consists of two sets of pastures about three miles apart that are divided into 18 (on 240a/97ha), and, 13 (on 160a/64ha) permanently fenced paddocks.
About half of the land is native mixed tall-grass-mid- grass prairie. Dominant species are big bluestem, little blue stem, sideoats gama, hairy gama, blue gama, plus various other warm and cool season grasses and forbs. Most of the remaining land was dry crop ground that we planted to various mixtures of native and introduced varieties of warm and cool season perennial grasses and legumes. We also have about 17 acres of abandoned cattle feedlots that grow annual volunteer mixtures of various forbs (weeds). When properly managed, these lots are extremely productive through the late spring and summer with very high quality forage for all three livestock species.
Line fences are multi-strand barbwire with an offset hi-tensile electrified wire at about 10" above ground level. The newer internal divider fences are two strand hi-tensile electrified wires. We have over 12 miles of electrified fences.
The paddocks are rotationally grazed. The rate of movement through the paddocks is determined by rate of plant growth, and the rest time needed for plants to recover. We rely heavily on Holistic Management principles and Holistic Management International’s, Planned Grazing Program spreadsheet that was written by Ralph Tate. The spreadsheet is like air conditioning and 4-wheelers, once used, they become a necessity.
When needed, usually February-early April, dry winter pasture is supplemented with limited quantities of alfalfa hay unrolled on paddocks a couple days per week. A supp
Ethnic size (45#-75#) lambs.
Commercial feeder calves.
Romanov-DorpCroix easy care commercial sheep breeding stock.
Conventional size (110#-150#) fed lambs.
Commercial goat kids.
Consulting on all systems (slotted floor confinement to pasture-only) of sheep production, and pasture/range management that involves small ruminants.