South Dakota Grassland Coalition

Grazing plan resources and reasons

Why focus on prairie grassland improvements?

By improvements, I mean increasing the health of the soil, which in turn, increases the health and vigor of your plants while hopefully reintegrating warm season, native grass improved plant diversity or increasing plant density. The increased plant diversity helps our insect and bird populations.

With the increase of healthy plants, more carbon is absorbed and taken down into the soil and root systems. This is all creating a dynamic and alive soil – alive with microbes, fungi, and all sorts of invisible and scientific processes that happen in this invisible world that does so much. The improved grassland helps with the relationship between the land and water, increasing the utilization of rain, less run off and negative impacts of flooding.

Develop a Grazing Plan

A resource from Dan Rasmussen our SDGC Educator, includes this example of a grazing plan: GrazeChart33Ranch’20 – May 22 2020 – 11-22 AM and forms are available at the International Holistic Management website. Free downloads from Holistic Management International are also available HERE.

Start by looking at what you have for acres and pastures. In addition to a paper record, I like to use Pasture Map. It is on my phone, and I usually have that with me so I can make notes and take pictures. Once I had my inventory of pastures. I kept an eye on how things looked this Spring. I was also aware of not wanting to graze the exact same time of the year. For the brome and crested wheat I had, I wanted to utilize that early and give the pastures with more native/warm season plants a bit longer to grow. I had a pasture with a lot of wet ground, so I didn’t start with that. I made these decisions with Area Rangeland Management Specialist Lealand Schoon with NRCS offering ideas and suggestions.

I’m just a few years into this. A SDGC Mentor, Pat Guptill, current board member, came out in 2016 and helped reinforce my ideas and commitments. I’m just sharing and relating my experience. This is what I have picked up as a “noob”. We have our online video game community to thank for that word. Noob or newb means, newbie, someone new to an experience or community. I’ll close here with a cute video, Grandma saying her lines, can be like managing your grazing, you just keep trying.

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