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From 60% Bare Ground to Less Than 10% – Grazing Management Made the Difference

Pat GuptilIn this video, Pat Guptill of Quinn, South Dakota shares his experience with his change from a rotational grazing plan to mob grazing saying, “What we’ve done here, it’s just baffling to me, the number of cattle we can graze.”  After doing things the same old way for years, Pat said he was never happy with how the grass looked.  Now they move their cattle very day, trying to keep the ground covered or with litter. He says his land and his cattle are both healthier.

In this 7:40 video Pat describes how he got started figuring out how large his paddocks should be, and how he expands the pasture sizes as the forage matures so he can keep the best forage possible in front of his stock and how he waters his stock.

Under this type of rotation he’s taken his pastures from 60% bare ground to less than 10% and sees more natives and a deeper green color to his pastures.  While he says this may not be the way to do things for everyone, he’s seen lots of benefits and would like others to use his example, along with an open mind, to figure out how to make improvements in the ways they graze on their own places.

Tablet readers, here’s your link.

Thanks to South Dakota State University’s iGrow program, and the SARE and CIG grants that made this video and the associated research possible.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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