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Comparing Rotational and Continuous Grazing – A Time Lapse Video

Seeing how two pastures function side by side under different management is one good way to consider what kind of management we’d like to implement. That’s why I like this video from the Natural Resources Conservation Service staff in Clark, South Dakota. They set up a camera on a fence line and took time lapse photos from May to December of 2018 to see how the vegetation responded to continuous grazing (on the right side of the fence) and rotational grazing on the right. They wanted to be able to show folks the difference, not just in the amount of forage produced, but also what happens through the winter.

The left side is grazed once during the year, from September 20 through October 1. Because the camera wasn’t on all day every day, but only took photos during part of each day, you won’t see all the cattle grazing on the right side, but you will see the changes in the vegetation. The rotational grazing side of the fence has good wildlife cover and no weed pressure throughout the growing season. When it snows, the grass is catching the snow and keeping the moisture on the pasture for the next growing season.

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