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Quick Pasture Improvements From Managed Grazing

By   /  May 2, 2016  /  1 Comment

Sometimes we just need a little evidence that something works in order to make a change in our grazing management. It’s even better when we get quick results, right? Here’s what Jim saw in Nebraska after just a year.

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WyomingGrazingSchoolsquareHere are some examples of managed grazing healing blowouts from one of our client ranches in the Nebraska Sand Hills. In both cases the fence line contrast shows one of their pastures using set stocking compared to managed grazing on the client side of the fence.

The really bright side of the story is this is the result with only one season using a MiG-approach. A year ago both sides looked about the same. Both sides had a long history of set stocking a small herd in each pasture. Pooling the herds and moving them through multiple pastures has made the difference.

Sand Hills blow out healing 1

The pasture to the left was still in the old management mode of a small herd left season long in the pasture. The pasture to the right was grazed one time and then the stock moved off to allow the recovery for the remainder of the season.

Blow Out 2

Similar situation as the previous photo but with a smaller blowout. The pasture to the left was grazed for one week in early summer and was allowed to recover.

Blowout 3

An assortment of perennial native grasses along with a few annuals have quickly established to cover the bare soil that had been left at the end of the previous year’s season long grazing exposure. The natives came back naturally without mechanical seeding efforts? There were sideoats grama and a wheatgrass that I assume is western present among others.


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About the author

Jim Gerrish is the author of "Management-Intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming" and "Kick the Hay Habit: A Practical Guide to Year-around Grazing" and is a popular speaker at conferences around the world. His company, American GrazingLands Services LLC is dedicated to improving the health and sustainable productivity of grazing lands around the world through the use of Management-intensive Grazing practices. They work with small farms, large ranches, government agencies and NGO's to promote economically and environmentally sustainable grazing operations and believe healthy farms and ranches are the basis of healthy communities and healthy consumers. Visit their website to find out more about their consulting services and grazing management tools, including electric fencing, stock water systems, forage seed, and other management tools.

1 Comment

  1. Chip Hines says:

    It was probably thick spike wheat grass. It is a sand variety.

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