Tag: Erosion Control

Circle Ranch - Pasture Cropping

Pasture Cropping: A Regenerative Solution from Down Under

This essay was originally published in Acres magazine. It also appeared onTheSolutionsJournal.com.  For more of Courtney White’s writing on conservation and agriculture see: www.awestthatworks.com.>   Author:  Courtney White   Since the late 1990s, Australian farmer Colin Seis has been successfully planting a cereal crop into perennial pasture on his sheep farm during the dormant period using

Circle Ranch - Holistic Herding

Holistic Herding at Erosion Source

Often I have been told by planned-grazing skeptics that what we do at Circle with cows is only possible because of unique terrain features, expensive fence and water systems not available to others, and even that Circle Ranch gets more rain than next-door-neighbor ranches! Planned grazing is succesful anywhere it has been tried, including BLM

Circle Ranch - Sacaton

Sacaton, Cows and Fire

A characteristic of high-desert Southwestern grasslands are draws filled with Giant Sacaton (Sporoblus wrightii).  These majestic grass plants cover millions of acres in far-West Texas and New Mexico. At Circle we have several sacaton draws.  They encompass thousands of acres.

Circe Ranch - Grazing Giant Sacaton by "Cowboy Bob" Kinford

Grazing Giant Sacaton at Circle Ranch by “Cowboy Bob” Kinford

Normally sacaton grass is burned off and grazed early in the year as cattle “refuse” to eat it when it gets taller.  Just out of curiosity, I placed roughly half of the 420 cows into a sacaton draw. The results are pretty dramatic and show that cattle really like this grass when it is at

Roads and Erosion: #3 of 3: Results of Treatments of Substandard Ranch Roads

Most old roadbeds are simply abandoned after they become impassible.  S.O.P. is to move over a vehicle-width, and start a new path.  When that wears out, do it again, and so forth.  Near Santa Fe, there are places where the old Camino Real has thirty-five abandoned beds, side-by-side.  Abandoned roads continue to cut.  They must

Roads and Erosion #2 of 3: Addressing The Destructive Erosion of Substandard Ranch Roads

In the summer of 2007, Circle Ranch together with the Dixon Water Foundation, sponsored a road seminar at Circle Ranch. Attendees came from as far as the Navaho Nation in Arizona.  Bill Zeedyk, noted erosion expert from Albuquerque taught our class.

Roads and Erosion: #1 of 3

Pictured here is a typical gully. It was caused by a road which triggered an upward-moving headset. How can you tell an active gully? Whenever the sides of a gully are vertical, the gully is unstable. These drain pastures and ‘bleed’ moisure out of the water table on both sides. This dries soil and leads

circle_ranch_west_texas_rain_feature

Flash Flood in 17 Draw, August 31, 2006

In the old West Texas joke, a visitor asks the old cowboy, “How much rain do you get a year?”  To which the old boy replies, “Only 11 inches, but you ought to be here on the day it comes!”

circle_ranch_old_wagon_trails_feature

Old Roadbeds Cause Erosion

When the original settlers came, they took their teams and wagons up the valley bottoms.  The wagon wheels nicked the turf, and this started gullies which can develop violently during fast runnoff.  Left untreated, these will eat whole valleys.