Updated: Jun 2, 2022
We can make our pastures healthier and more productive through the easy strategy of planned rotational grazing.
Pastures can easily get over grazed by cattle which in turn effects the soil quality/health that leads to poor quality grass yields, erosion problems and weed proliferation.
How Does Rotational Grazing look in practice?
Pasture land can be divided into smaller paddocks that so that the cattle can more thoroughly graze the partitioned land. The cow manure distribution will be more evenly spread over the smaller area and their hooves will help establish grass seed back into the topsoil. The cattle are kept in a specific paddock area for grazing while leaving all other paddock sections untouched and free to grow. Grass root systems grow more robust when not under constant grazing and will retain water at a much higher rate. This results in an overall healthier pasture with better productivity.
How grazing effects photosynthesis.
It's all about the Carbs these days! Much like humans and other species, grasses use carbohydrates as energy for growth, but they form those carbs through photosynthesis in the plants green leaves. These carbohydrates are stored in the plant and used to grow tall leafy structures and roots depending on how much is available. When a pasture is continually grazed, the pasture grass has a lot of the photosynthesis producing leafy structure eaten off and the plant then has to expend its carbohydrate reserves on upward growth instead of root expansion. When you give a pasture a temporary break from grazing, it allows the grass to grow tall enough so that the photosynthesis production and carbohydrate storage is high, but not tall enough to where the carbohydrates are wasted in undigestible fiber. The grasses then use these carbohydrate storage reserves for expanding the root system and thus increasing the overall health of the pasture.
At BLAC Wagyu we strive toward efficiency and sustainability in how we raise our herd. Through this lens, planned rotational grazing is a critical tool in how we work toward a symbiosis with mother nature and our herd of cattle living out in the pasture.