Gabe Brown on Cover Crops, No-Till Farming and Livestock

Using No-Till Farming, Cover Crops and Cover CropsLivestock to enhance his farming resources.

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Join me today for an interview with Gabe Brown of Brown’s Ranch. Gabe farms and ranches in North Dakota with his family and is transitioning ownership over to his son, Paul. Today we talk about cover crops, annual cash crops, grazing livestock, soil health, transitioning ownership to younger generations and many other topics! Thank you Gabe for taking the time to do this interview.

More info on No-Till Farming and Cover Crops:

Gabe Brown Ranch

Brown’s Ranch Facebook Page

USDA Web Soil Survey

About the Brown’s Ranch:

We believe that faith, family and working with the natural resources that God has provided allows us a meaningful life.  We enjoy using these resources to regenerate landscapes for a sustainable future.

Our ranch is located just east of Bismarck, ND.  Shelly and I purchased the ranch from Shelly’s parents in 1991 and have grown the operation to 5400 acres of owned and leased land.  Son, Paul, returned to the ranch after graduation from North Dakota State University and became a partner in the operation.  Daughter, Kelly, lives and works in Fargo, ND and returns home to help whenever possible.

We believe in and practice Holistic Management, a part of which is farming and ranching in nature’s image. We strive to solve problems in a natural and sustainable way.  Improving soil health is a priority and no-till farming has been practiced since 1993.  A diverse cropping strategy, which includes cover and companion crops are used.  This has allowed us to reduce the use of commercial fertilizer by over 90% and the use of herbicides by over 75%.  Our ever evolving grazing strategy allows most of our pastures a recovery period of over 360 days.  These strategies have allowed the health of the soil, the mineral and water cycles to greatly improve.  In other words, the natural resources have benefited.  This results in increased production, profit and a higher quality of life for us.  We are moving towards sustainability for not only ours but future generations as well.

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  • Greg Schwab

    Very inspiring I would like to know his rain fall . Thanks Chris

    • Chris

      Greg I’m not sure about his rainfall. I think it’s lower than you might think. He lives in Burleigh County, North Dakota. I did a google search and found 17 inches of rain and 30-40inches of snow a year on average. No idea what the real numbers are though.

      • Greg Schwab

        We measure the water in are snow . Snow and rain are all figured in together for a total of 16 inches. Are they figuring in the snow in the total or just the rain that falls in the growing season.

        • Chris

          I don’t know. I can’t remember if Gabe mentioned his precipitation in the interview.

  • KW

    Thanks for conducting & podcasting that interview, Chris!
    The information was very helpful and Mr. Brown’s website has a good deal of valuable info on it as well.
    Really appreciate what you (and he) are doing!

  • on Facebook

    16″ is correct for Gabe’s area (includes snow precip.). They do have those nice LONG summer days too.

  • Shirley Schwab on Facebook

    Thanks soilhealth that is important informtion . It does make you think this over on a more serios note, it opens a lot of doors into profit. Greg

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