Strip grazing

If you find
Livestock are selective and will graze what they want and leave what they don’t want
Weeds build up in pastures
It is important to keep livestock nutrition high, such as in dairying
It is important to know that livestock are getting a particular level of nutrition
Strip grazing is a good way to get a patch of ground grazed flat or near to it so weeds are turned into milk, meat or wool at the same time as the livestock eat the desirable pasture plants.

It also means the animals graze the pasture or range to a more even level.

It allows good control of animal intake as well as effective Feed budgeting so that there is plenty of time to make up for any feed shortfalls.

This is the Short hard graze part of a Short on, long off rotation that can allow the benefit to be gained quickly in a grazing rotation and leave enough time for recovery in the long Rest phase.

The long rest can allow the pasture to bounce back strongly enough to beat more weeds before the cycle begins again with a fresh supply of good nutrition for the animals.

The long rest will allow full recovery and if timed appropriately may force weeds into a less competitive position at the same time as it gives the advantage to the desirable species.

This will allow a Competitive crop in the form of a pasture to keep weeds down.

Strip grazing is common in dairying and other Rotational grazing systems.

Because of the long rest, pasture can grow tall and this competition will beat some weeds. Other weeds may survive and switch to a more upright growth and this usually means fewer prickles plus the weed will be softer and more palatable. And then they are ready to be taken out in the Short hard graze when it comes around.

By having the right number of paddocks to divide the grazing into, the livestock can be brought into each at a suitable stage. If there is insufficient stock to provide the High stock density, some areas can be cut for hay or silage or can be left standing or slashed for Plowback to improve your soil’s Biological fertility.

Each Short hard graze will bring on Grazing shock and that will boost Soil organic matter and particularly soil Biological activity.

Strip grazing needs:

  • small enough areas being grazed at any one time to ensure a Short hard graze
  • enough stock to ensure that all plants are grazed and Selective grazing is minimized so that the control is in the hands of the manager instead of letting the grazing animals decide what they eat and don’t.
  • a long Rest that gives enough time for the pasture to get the benefit and recover fully
  • Soil with adequate nutrition to allow high levels of growth and biological activity to support the new growth
  • Natural indicators to ensure that grazing pressure is matched to pasture availability. Even a very simple feed budget makes this a lot easier.
This entry was posted in Farm pattern and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply