Regenerative Grazing

Healthy Soil, Healthy Animals

 

The richest most nutrient dense soils known to man were not formed by man nor were they formed by the use of chemical inputs; fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, poisons, etc. They were formed by large grazing herds of ruminants moving across the land eating, fertilizing naturally, trampling and moving on, not to return to the same areas until the plants were fully recovered and ready to be grazed again.

Conventional Grazing versus Regenerative Grazing

 

In a conventional grazing system, cows are confined to a single large area.  Cows prefer some grasses and other forages better than others. Since the cows have constant access to the entire area they will return to the same plant and areas leading to overgrazing of some plants, and the over rest of others, resulting in the degradation of the pasture and environment as a whole.  The constant eating and trampling in the same area does not give the plants adequate time to fully recover or evenly distribute nutrients back to the soil.  Eventually, without human intervention, reseeding, and in many cases chemical fertilizers, the more desirable plants are killed out leaving the less desirable, less nutritious plants, i.e., weeds to take over. This leads to additional human intervention and application of chemicals to control the weeds.

Conventional grazing also allows the animals to split up into mini-herds.  The smaller herds provide less protection from predators and less benefits for the soil. The larger the herd, the more protection they can provide for each other and their young and the greater the herd effect will be on the land.  Managed properly, the herd effect greatly benefits the soil microbial life, water cycle, mineral cycle, and in turn forage quality.

Herd animals evolved to roam across the land, eat the nutrition, trample in the fertilizer and move on, not returning until the area was recovered.  Plant health and soil microbial life are dependant on this animal impact and migration cycle.  Gone are the days of open land without fences when herd animals moved across the region together. The natural model mimicks the migration of herding ruminants by dividing a large area in to small paddocks, and moving the animals across the farm frequently. This is accomplished by using a single strand of polywire acting as the predator keeping the herd together.  Reducing the paddock size and the frequent moves, increases the herd effect on the land.  The herd effect is essential to the regeneration and health of the land. This also helps the animals rediscover their natural herd instincts.  It allows the animals to eat the most nutritious parts of the plants, fertilize them naturally and trample the rest then moving on to cleaner, greener pastures.  This regenerative grazing practice, keeps the cows and calves healthy and clean, allows the plants to fully recover from grazing and develop a deeper root system before being grazed again.  A deeper root system will aid the plant in utilizing the nutrients located deeper in the ground yielding a more nutrient dense forage, which in turn results in a more nutrient dense animal, which results in healthier, happier people.

Implementing the natural model and regenerative grazing,  We have been able to use the animals to improve the soil and the plant nutrition without applying chemical fertilizers to our pastures.  We let the cows do it naturally.

Healthy animals eating as nature intended will provide a more nutritious product for you.