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Get Your Grazing Chart Here!

By   /  March 19, 2013  /  6 Comments

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These grazing charts were developed as part of a project I led called “Utilizing Holistic Planned Grazing as a Regenerative Engine for Sustainable Agriculture.” Thanks to the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education for funding this project!

We created these grazing charts for use on different size operations, with different numbers of paddocks.  We added dates to some charts to make it easier for using in 2013.  Note that if you want this chart to be big enough to hang on your wall and write on it, you’ll need to take it to your local copy shop to have it enlarged.  Thus the name “$4 Grazing Chart.”

20 paddock no date
2013 25 paddock long version dated 10 month
2013 grazing dated 10 paddock 12 month chart
2013 grazing dated 20 paddock 12 month chart
2013 grazing dated 30 paddock 12 month chart
2013 grazing dated 40 paddock 12 month chart

If you come up with questions or suggestions for improving these tools, please let get in touch with me.  Working together to make things better for all of us is the name of the game!

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About the author

contributor

Troy Bishopp, aka "The Grass Whisperer" is an accomplished professional grazier of 27 years, grasslands advocate and media guy who owns and manages Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raises dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased organic native pastures. The whisperer routinely asks customers, Is there any grass in the animal products you buy? Beef grazed on the farm has been served at President Obama's inaugural dinners, restaurants and to diners as far away as Japan. Troy also works for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist and is a free-lance writer, maintaining a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com

6 Comments

  1. Carol says:

    Which one do I use? I have 6 (5+ acre) pastures that I split up for a small number of animals. My divisions for daily pasture moves do vary considerably so should I count each pasture as a paddock?

    • Troy Bishopp says:

      Hi Carol and Joel too,
      The basic question is how do you want to manage these fields within your beginning grazing system and what do you hope to accomplish with writing stuff down on your particular farms? For the most part, I delineate major fields on the chart (I have 20 major fields ranging from 2 to 12 acres so I use a 20 paddock chart). As an example field 1 on my farm is 4 acres and so the boxes on the chart are days in the paddock. If I were to graze this one paddock with my animals for 4 days, I would mark 4 boxes. Now this could mean I grazed the whole paddock for 4 days or I subdivided it in one acre grazing strips for 4 days. You’ll have to make a note which practice you might have used because with strip grazing and back-fencing each day you gain 1 day of recovery period.
      The chart is helpful in my opinion because depending on how much recovery time you want or need to grow the forage you want for the animals you have, you can go ahead and plan out the next grazing by counting the days(boxes) ahead whether that be 20, 30, 40, 60, 90 or whatever days your going back to it.
      I think if you look on my grazing chart within the story I wrote you’ll see what I mean. Maybe Kathy and I could get my farm map up on this site so you could see how I attributed my fields that go along with my chart. You’ll see for the most part how I broke up the farm into paddocks that are specific to the way I manage my place.
      Carol, I would consider using the 10 paddock chart and only using 6 lines or if you wanted to break each field down further (say 1a, 2a, 3a, 1b, 2b, 3b etc.) you could use a bigger chart. It all depends on how you want to use it and what information you want. There is no right or wrong way to monitor as long as you are working towards what you want. Writing stuff down is critical however as a way to ground truth it.
      Hope this helps and thanks for the question
      Grass Whisperer

      • Carol says:

        Thank you, The information does help. I actually have many other smaller paddock areas but was trying to make it simple to grasp the idea. Now to get out the aerial map and figure out how many fields/paddocks to delineate.

        How big is the chart on your wall?

        • Troy Bishopp says:

          Since I am teaching other farmers about my experiences with this chart it tends to be bigger than most at 3′ x 3′.
          Generally I download the chart PDF and take it to a printer and tell them how big I want to make to fit my door, truck or even clip board if you want it that small. Mostly they are printed as 24″ x 32″.

  2. Joel Hallet says:

    I am new to this grazing thing in general. I’m cutting my teeth by moving a small herd (3 adults, 2 lambs, give or take) of sheep around on my 3/4 acre pasture. They are getting about 700 sqft of pasture a day, moved daily.

    We are planning to expand to 18 acres of space and integrate cattle and sheep next year. I’ve read Grass Fed Cattle and I am grasping the basic concept but for the life of me, I can’t grasp exactly how to use these grazing charts!

    HELP! 🙂

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Hi Joel,

      If you could start by giving us some of your questions about the charts, I could get Troy to answer them and get you started. It’s kind of hard to know where to start unless we understand better where you’re at.

      Thanks!

      Kathy

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