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Success Stories | Colorado

Reeves and Betsy Brown
3R Ranch
Beulah, Colorado

Ranch Description

Reeves and Besty Brown.The 3R Ranch is approximately 10,360 acres. Six hundred forty acres of this is state land. The remainder is deeded land.

 

  • Grazable Forest is approximately 5,110 acres.
  • Rangeland is 4,530 acres, including river bottom.
  • Irrigated Pasture and Hayland are 720 acres.

Elevation on the ranch ranges from 7,800 feet down to 5,700 feet.

The Browns have put 1,560 acres of prime farmland into the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program. The have another 440 acres in a private conservation easement with Colorado Open Lands. The Colorado Open Lands easement is part of a greater effort to put conservation easements on surrounding lands to preserve the beauty and agricultural integrity of the area. The easements are an effort to stem 40-acre ranchette subdivisions that are popular in the area.

Irrigated Pasture and Hayland Hay is cut then baled into big bales in mid to late June. All haying is finished by July 4. The yield on all hayland is approximately three tons per acre. The Browns test the soil one in six years. Results from these tests have not changed since they have begun testing.

Hayland species are smooth brome (70 percent), orchard grass and alfalfa. The protein rate for their hay is six to seven percent protein due to the fact that it is cut at early bloom. The hay is irrigated with center pivot sprinklers that run on gravity pressure to reduce energy costs.

Rangeland The Browns use Holistic Resource Management (HRM) techniques to manage their grazing resources-- rangeland, forest land, and pasture land. They have divided pastures into 64 paddocks. They use permanent and electric fencing. The average paddock size is 100 acres. They monitor their grazing resources and keep close watch on pasture conditions. The main cow herd consists of 600 brood cows.

Forestland The Browns harvest timber on a small scale from their forest land. Most of this land is used for summer pasture for cattle.

General Comments The Browns are very goal-oriented and have specific written goals for the resources they manage. Betsy is particularly excited about the change in the grasses more diversity due to their intensive grazing management. The Browns have been generous with their time and expertise by hosting tours and an HRM workshop at their ranch. They participated in the Governor's Task Force on Grazing Land Initiative.

Organizations The Browns are active in numerous organizations, including The Colorado Cattlemen's Association, Colorado Branch HRM, Pueblo County Stockman's Association, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

NRCS Assistance The Browns utilize both NRCS technical and financial assistance. However, they have installed many conservations practices on their own without federal assistance. NRCS has cost-shared one center pivot sprinkler, an underground irrigation pipeline, and a big gun sprinkler. They previously installed two center pivots on their own. All of their fencing has been done at their own cost. They request NRCS technical assistance to assist in range evaluation and forest health assessment