Rotational Grazing: Helping the Environment One Paddock at a Time

Written by Kendall Sweeney on October 6th, 2014

Rotational Grazing is a process where livestock are strategically moved to fresh paddocks, or partitioned pasture areas. This process allows resting periods in between rotations that help maintain the health of forage and allows vegetation in previously grazed pastures to regenerate. Rotational grazing discourages competition from weeds and undesirable plant species that often invade when forage is overgrazed and weakened. Rotational grazing allows for a longer grazing season, as well as providing improved nutrient distribution.

The Breakneck Hill Cow Fund is managing the conservation land pasture in just this way. We currently have 9 paddocks the cows are rotated through. The cows are moved to a new paddock only when that paddock is ready. Because of extended dry periods we have resorted to feeding hay during the summer when the pasture forage has been too slow to regrow and while the soil on the pasture is thin and rocky, very rocky, we believe that we will eventually build soil with high carbon content that will be resilient to the long periods of dry weather we have been experiencing. One byproduct of this system is the sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere stably in the soil. This system on a large scale could be a major solution to our climate crisis.
 

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