About the Location
Tatalrose Ranch is located in the Grassy Plains of British Columbia. With rolling hills, the terrain is naturally forested and has many lakes. The subsoil is glacial till.
About the Farm
Tatalrose Ranch was founded in 1982 and bought by Cya and Jon Solecki in 1999. Their son Chris Solecki and his family now work with Cya and Jon on the family-operated cattle ranch that has a herd of 330 cows. Together, they raise yearlings for sale in the commercial market.
Learning about Rotational Grazing
Chris Solecki learned about rotational grazing in a grassland ecology course while pursuing his degree as well as through podcasts and books. It interested him as a way to increase the productivity of the farm through better management of their pastures. Thay also want to extend their grazing season and improve their farm for wildlife and other ecosystem services.
Chris Solecki acknowledges Serena Black from the BC Forage Council. “She works very hard as the manager of the forage council and brings a lot of opportunities to producers in British Columbia.” Says Chris. “We were able to do this trial because of her and we are very grateful for the opportunity.”
Tatalrose Ranch has been rotating cattle for a long time, but they have been working on really improving their management throughout the past 10 plus years. It currently has a herd of 330 pairs.
Seeding took place May 25 and Aug. 30, 2023. A field day was held Aug. 30, 2023.
Temporary electric fencing will be used for internal fencing.
This project is being conducted on 50 acres of the Tatalrose Ranch. With the goal of finding a way to extend their grazing season while also planting a crop that could be harvested for winter feed, this project will rotate cattle through this field in the spring. The project will be completed in the spring of 2024 upon completion of the grazing crop. Grazing dates will be determined based on weather.
The short-term goals of the project are to provide a good crop for winter feed and then a spring crop for grazing. Tatalrose Ranch is hoping for 11 additional grazing days using this rotational grazing plan.
The long-term goals are to improve soil health and find better strategies for extending grazing.
What Happened this Year at the Tatalrose Ranch Demonstration Site
Using a new drill that Chris was unfamiliar with was a challenge. One thing he would do differently is to better calibrate the seeding depth on the seeder.
The crop grew well but they have to wait for spring crop to see how it extends the grazing.
Funding for this project [in part] has been provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund.