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"We are feeding and raising our animals well so our neighbors can be fed well."
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The Old Farmer and his Grain Bin
 

By Del Ficke

The other day when I was driving on my trusty Gator through a lush field of rye that will serve as all-natural cattle feed and soil nutrient provided by the Good Lord, I had an old farmer, a good man I enjoy visiting with, stop and talk to me.  He was questioning why he built his most recent grain bin.  I asked him where the grain bin was and he admitted, “You know, it’s in eyesight of the grain elevator where I take my grain.  In fact, he said, the grain bin I built is so close to the elevator I deliver to that I cannot even get into high gear in the semi when I am delivering my crop there.”

“Hmm,” I pondered to myself and then replied, “Well, if you feel like you’re doing the elevator’s work and paying for it in the process, you can do a couple things.  You can keep doing what you’re doing and buy a semi with fewer gears or you can re-think your farming operation and take back more control.”

Taking back control is all about considering net, not gross, on your farm or ranch.  It’s about how much you want to be at the mercy of the current agricultural system or master of your own destiny.  This newsletter is not about poking fun.  It’s about looking in the mirror.  I sure have and it’s not always easy but there is a better, more profitable way that also leads to better health for your soil, livestock and ultimately human beings too. 

The team at Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics™ and Green Acres Cover Crops want to help neighbors come along on this profitable journey with us.  We want neighbors like my old farmer friend still in business and others too.    

What’s the lesson in the story above?  Well, if you are building costly infrastructure in eyesight of where you are going to deliver a crop that you have little control of what price you receive for that product – it just may not be the most creative investment or more importantly the most profitable investment for your farm. 

It’s about neighbors helping neighbors.  We stand by that and want to leave everyone better off than when we first met.  The secret to success is you have to truly want our resources that can lead to profitability in some practical, common sense and very rewarding ways.    

Contact myself, Del Ficke, at (402) 499-0329 or Nate Belcher my partner at (402) 580-0015.  We are so excited about the chance to talk to you.  The initial call does not cost a thing.  It just opens the door of opportunity.  Thank you.        

Profitable Poop and Cash with Cover Crops

By Del Ficke and Nate Belcher

Graze Master Genetics cattle grazing on a "salad mix" of cover crops including rye, hairy vetch, sweet clover, radishes and turnips.   

So far, the 44 acres of cover crops we are grazing at Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics has grossed $7,000.  This amount is reached figuring custom grazing rates.  For example, the cash rent on the 44 acres is $6,000.  In essence, I have paid all my inputs by grazing before even planting the corn crop and whatever the corn yields is basically profit.

 

Grazing progression in rye, hairy vetch, sweet clover, radish and turnips. 

This picture shows the impact after daily moving of the cattle and how much the cattle are eating and what is being left behind as soil cover.  The cows typically graze down to this level and I move them on. It’s important to me to always have the ground covered to ensure not over-grazing and re-growth. 
 

Cattle grazing alfalfa and red clover. 

They say a cow poops up to 20 times a day.  But, to be conservative, let’s say a cow poops 15 times a day.  Then let’s say every cow pie the cow poops weighs a pound.  That means 75 cows (no calves and not including the peeing part), would deposit 1,125 pounds of manure fertilizer per acre in an ultra-high-density-grazing plan.  Now let’s look even further.  My friend Brian Brhel says the value of each cow pie is around $1.  That means, over a three week time, all those cow pies equate into $23,625 of natural fertilizer.  No machines, no other artificial inputs, just cows eating and pooping.  Now that is the kind of manure that smells like real money. 
 


Dung beetle burrows annihilating a cow pie and regenerating the fertilizer into the soil.


A new sprout of hairy vetch stretches through the manure in nature's balance.


Contact the Ficke Cattle Company – Graze Master Genetics and Green Acres Cover Crops team for how we can consult on your farm or ranch about the benefits of cover crops and ultra-high-density-grazing.  Remember, you do not need to be in the livestock business to begin using these practices.  We can help! Del (402) 499-0329 and Nate (402) 580-0015. 

Thank you Neighbors!
By Del Ficke and Nate Belcher


 

Thank you to everyone who made it to our, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” field day at the new Green Acres Cover Crops research farm located at Ficke Cattle Company.  Thank you also, Doug Garrison, Area Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), for sharing your expertise.  Attendees at the event included researchers, farmers, livestock producers and consumers anxious to better understand where their food comes from and also to learn about soil health, the usage of cover crops as well as ultra-high-density-grazing (UHDG) of cattle.

 

The group spent three hours in the afternoon touring fields featuring 20-plus seed planting scenarios, everything from Red Clover inter-seeded with alfalfa to barley, rye and Shoshone Sainfoin as well as different combinations of warm season grasses such as Big Bluestem, Western Wheatgrass, Virginia Wild Rye, Indian Grass, Side Oats, Canada Wild Rye and Blue Grama.  In addition to the multitude of seeds planted, attendees were shown a variety of ways to plant seeds.  Some areas of the research farm have been hand-seeded, others aerial planted as well as fields planted with no-till drill applications and several acres sown with a Gator utility vehicle.  Each participant received a document that gave an overview of each seed planting scenario. 

 

 

Congratulations to our event winners.  Ron Meyer won a Graze Master shovel for being the first to dig around in the soil and explore at the event.  Samantha Romesburg won a bag of Green Acres Cover Crops seed.  Thank you loyal customers and fans for all your encouragement and support!

 

If you are interested in learning about these practices on your farm or ranch please contact us!  Del (402) 499-0329 or Nate (402) 580-0015. 

Graze Master Steak Marinade

By Brenda Ficke


 

 

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup (half lemon juice and half water)

¼ cup parsley flakes

1/8 cup onion flakes

 

Mix together thoroughly, pour over meat with seasoning salt (optional), let marinate for four to 24 hours.  Turn frequently.  Excellent for summer grilling with juicy, tender Graze Master steaks!

Farming for the future – Green Acres Cover Crops is ready to deliver seed to your farm or ranch.


We are also ready to dig deep into your soil and its potential for your profitability.

Thank you!

Del Ficke and Nate Belcher

Copyright © 2016 Ficke Cattle Company - Graze Master Genetics, All rights reserved.


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