Grazing Around Streams – More Ways To Do The Right Thing

All across the country, farmers and ranchers are facing tightening regulations and restrictions on grazing next to streams and water bodies. In his first article on this topic, Troy wondered if we, as graziers, are doing all we can to protect water quality and our grazing future. Last week he gave us three examples of ways that we can do the right thing without government intervention. Here are three more examples of how we can do better. Right Timing and Right Sizing for Grazing a Pasture This example is of a corridor that’s too wet in the spring but dries up in August. It’s been fenced bigger so it can actually be grazed efficiently and not impact the banks much. It’s an example of maybe a twice-a-year grazing because that’s some middle ground for the beef farmer I work with. Grazing to Improve Tree Success I worked with a farm in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that protected a stream with a 12-acre buffer corridor. However, we decided that the stream could benefit from more shade and a tree planting plan was developed. Because the farm was organic and had meat goats, we used the goats to clear the brush in advance of tree planting with their very minimal impact to the flood plain. A very targeted approach yielded good results. Here is the tree-planting in progress after goat grazing. As the trees develop the canopy, the goats could be used again to control invasive plants. Here you can see the portable fence set up off the buffer fence that all

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2 thoughts on “Grazing Around Streams – More Ways To Do The Right Thing

  1. There is a full documentary on youtube titled ‘leave it to beavers’. Some folks in western rangeland are bringing back beavers to combat drought and loss of riparian habit. I too have contemplated ‘log dams’ in wedded gullies but if you watch the documentary several times you will see it’s a little more complex according to beaver engineers. Enough of me typing….watch and enjoy the video!

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