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Comparing Rotational and Continuous Grazing – A Time Lapse Video

By   /  August 12, 2019  /  5 Comments

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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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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Graham Rannie says:

    Are there any pictures from May 2019 to show how quickly the pastures recover in the spring?

  2. Sherry Leis says:

    I was also wondering about the stocking rates for example was the rotational system stocked for the paddock or the whole unit? The continuous is obviously stocked for the whole unit.

  3. Jim Gerrish says:

    I wonder if they recorded the AUD/acre yield for the two pastures respectively.
    Do you know?


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