Well it’s the middle of hay season and we have been very busy here at the E Bar U. While the hay is drying in the mornings we are constantly in a rush to do other chores such as check water, fill oilers, and move cattle that have wandered from their summer pastures before our hay needs to be turned and bailed. Oilers are basically mobile back rubs that are filled with a mixture of diesel fuel and a chemical called remedy, which is a type of fly control. By using these oilers, it is not uncommon to not see any flies on the cattle, even during the hottest part of the day. This allows the cattle be more productive because they spend far more time grazing rather then fighting flies or sitting in water to keep them off. Decreasing the amount of flies will also reduce stress in the cattle. Reduced stress will lead to higher weight gains in immature cattle and promote a healthier herd.
I was also privileged enough to attend the 2017 Environmental Stewardship ranch tour at the Garrett Ranch Company near Casper, Wyoming. The Garrett ranch was a very impressive ranch that has taken a non-typical thinking approach to managing their resources. One of those ideas was improving riparian areas by adding the beaver to the area and air dropping aspen trees in via helicopter as a food source as well as building material for their dams. The beavers were added to the ecosystem in hopes of reducing soil erosion by creeks and increasing flood plains in riparian areas to better distribute water across the creek bottoms.