Mob-Grazing on Large Landscapes – What You Might Expect

Jay and Krista Reiser were considering taking over a 2700 acre North Dakota ranch they knew they were facing some problems. First, their financial adviser told them to expect a $38,000 annual loss if they continued to operate the ranch as it had always been run. Second, their pastures were depleted, with lots of bare ground, and not enough forage. They decided that mob grazing might be the right tool to solve both problems. Three years later, when reporting on their Northeast SARE funded project to pilot mob grazing on the ranch, Jay and Krista have seen some positive results. Increased Grazing Days They met their goal of increasing grazing days through mob grazing. In that area of the country, most ranchers plan for 15-19 cow days per acre. With mob grazing the Reisers increased that to 32 cow days per acre. Part of this was a result of more efficient forage utilization as cattle in smaller cells competed to get their share of what they thought was limited forage. In addition, while the cattle were mob grazed on a small portion of the ranch, the majority of the land was rested. Some of this stockpile was used to extend their grazing season into the winter months. The stockpile helped the Reisers solve financial issues. Krista noted that it saved them $8,000 - $10,000 in hay costs that first winter. The excess forage also gave them the opportunity for custom grazing cattle, boosting their bottom line. Rest is the Best The Reisers think that REST is the number one b

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3 thoughts on “Mob-Grazing on Large Landscapes – What You Might Expect

  1. Thanks for the article. Re-emphasizes the point that “nobody said it was going to be easy”. But the return on the investment of time, money, and effort can be significant. I remember Greg Judy in a presentation saying he increased his forage production 3-fold by going from continuous to mob grazing. He said that was like someone giving him two new farms/ranches!

  2. Good article. Lots of people doing UHD “Ultra High Density” on pasture but too few on rangelands. Thanks for reporting what you’ve learned.

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