How Do You Know When It’s Time to Move the Cows?

Editors' Note: This is part 3 of a series on Jay and Krista Reiser's pilot project to use mob grazing on a larger landscape in North Dakota.  Here are links to the other two articles in the series: Mob Grazing on 2700 Acres in North Dakota Setting Up Fencing and Water for Mob Grazing on 2700 Acres When Jay and Krista Reiser couldn't find the answers they needed about the possibilities of mob grazing on large landscapes like their 2700 North Dakota ranch, they decided to try it for themselves and share the information with the rest of us.  In addition to figuring out fencing solutions that worked for them, they also had to figure out "When is it time to move the cows?" What they learned over the course of their 2 year North Central SARE funded project is that it depends on your goals, the weather, and what the cows need. Adjusting the Trample to Graze Ratio One of their goals was to improve soil health. They thought that a mob grazing strategy with rotation, rest, and better distribution of manure and urine could reinvigorate the soil, improve forage quantity and quality and provide drought resistance. They hoped to use the trampling effect we've all heard and read about as part of this process. As they watched their cattle and how they responded to different fencing systems, they learned that how they fenced changed the ways that animals moved as well as the trample to graze ratio.  In the 1 minute video excerpt below from a North Central SARE Farmer Forum presen

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