Spring Cleaning, Part II

Last week we published a love story. Rancher meets manure; rancher gathers manure; rancher spreads manure. It gets me all choked up inside!

Ok, so maybe it’s not quite a love story. Nonetheless, the photos I found online to illustrate the manure saga, didn’t quite do justice to this part of ranch life. So last week’s post author, Jonita Sommers, sent me some images straight from their ranch in Sublette County, Wyo.

Sublette County Rancher Albert Sommers cleans manure from his corrals on his Pinedale, Wyo. ranch.

Animals are housed in corrals for various reasons and for varying lengths of time. So inevitably when you have animals, you have poop. These are just the facts, ma’am (name that TV show).

When this manure builds up, it must be removed, as Jonita’s brother, Albert, is so skillfully displaying in the above photo. It’s all about manure management, folks!

Now the sweet-smelling stuff needs to be disposed of. That’s where a manure spreader comes in.

Ranchers practice manure management on their Pinedale, Wyo. cattle operation. Here Albert Sommers loads the manure spreader.Albert loads the manure spreader with his tractor’s loader bucket. We use such complicated terms. Try to keep up.

Ranchers practice manure management on their Pinedale, Wyo. cattle operation. Here Albert Sommers loads the manure spreader.Once the manure spreader is brimming with its aromatic load, it’s time to spread the manure. Hence the term, manure spreader. Are you still with me?

The Sommers Ranch spreads manure from their corrals on their pasture and hay land to fertilize their grasses.Commence firing! If you look closely, you can see a nice plume of dry poop being evacuated behind Albert’s tractor.

Pinedale ranchers spread manure on their land as a natural fertilizerThe manure is a natural fertilizer. You can just hear the pasture grasses jumping for joy as the nutrients get spread about.

Manure spreaders are used to distribute manure as a fertilizer on pasture and hay land in Sublette County, Wyo. There is a mechanism in the bed of the spreader that moves the manure to the back. Then the beaters on the rear of the spreader turn and distribute the load into the field.

Now let’s talk drags (just don’t be a drag). Dragging occurs at different times of the year depending on the ranch, but the purpose is always the same: to break up cow pies! These are not the kind of pies you eat al a mode. Or at all. Just don’t go there.

A drag is pulled across pastures to break of manure and make its nutrients more accessible to plantsThe manure is broken up as the drag is pulled across the ground by a tractor. This makes the organic matter (a.k.a. manure) more easily broken down and utilized by plant life.

Draging pastures in Wyoming. This breaks up manure to be more available for plant life.Now the corrals are clean, the manure piles are distributed and the fields are fertilized. The only thing left to do is shower. Trust me, that manure dust gets in places we will never blog about.

From RealPartner Liz Lauck – Wyoming Stock Growers Association

Photos from RealRancher Jonita Sommers – Pinedale, Wyo.

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