2015, The Year of Grass Manager?!

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County

Throughout most of the midwest and certainly across Ohio, the majority of the past 5 or 6 years might aptly be labeled “The years of the corn and soybean farmer.” As demand for grains outpaced the ability to produce adequate supplies, those who managed to grow corn and bean crops were rewarded with unprecedented prices that in turn yielded unprecedented returns to the investment in farm land.

Is it time to label 2015 “The year of the grass manager”? Much the same as the scenario that we observed with cash grain production, demand for nutrient dense red meat and in particular beef is out pacing the ability to produce adequate supplies. What that means in a nutshell is that outstanding grass managers – those managing the process of converting forage to beef – are being rewarded with unprecedented returns to their investment in forage producing land. Today as opposed to the past 5 or 6 years it’s a whole new ball game. Simply put, the most astute grass managers are positioned to capitalize.

Call it what you will, but most importantly, have a great 2015!


Above, Mike Estadt – in his own words, a grass farmer using registered Angus cows to harvest the free Ohio rain and sunshine – offers a Christmas morning gift to his bred heifers and 2 year old pairs . . . stockpiled grass that was last pastured in July.