As some of you may know, Canada is in a state of crisis when it comes to grassland birds. Grassland populations have declined by 57% since 1970, according to the North American Bird Conservation Initiative 2019 report on the state of Canada's birds. For the bobolink specifically, the decline has been particularly steep. Populations have dropped up to 88% in the past few decades.
The National Farmers Union recently published a 98-page thoroughly-researched discussion paper called Tackling the Farm Crisis and the Climate Crisis by Darrin Qualman. The report is divided up into several sections including ones on cropping and livestock, with (sometimes surprising) recommendations on what we need to do as farmers to make a living and do our part to combat climate change.
This fall, we had several hundred school kids come to the farm through the Loving Spoonful's GROW project. One of the most common questions they asked us was "What do you do with the cows in the winter??" Great question!
We have another bumper crop that peaks in late June. The pastures! I like to think of harvesting all that grass as engaging in preserving on a grand scale. Picture snipping a few basil plants and hanging them to dry, but for 80 cattle for 6 months!