South Dakota Grassland Coalition

Discover the crucial balance between grazing and rest in pasture management. Season-long grazing vs. faster pasture rotation – where do you fall on the spectrum, and how does it impact your land?

Overgrazing Risk: Season-long grazing can lead to overgrazing, where plants are continuously bitten off before they can fully recover. This degrades the health of plants and soil.

Soil Health: Faster pasture rotation allows for plant recovery and increased soil health. Resting plants enable the accumulation of organic matter in the soil, improving its structure and fertility over time.

Biodiversity: Faster rotation promotes plant diversity and ecosystem health. Season-long grazing can lead to the dominance of certain species, reducing biodiversity.

Resource Management: The choice between season-long grazing and faster rotation should be based on available resources, including pasture size, livestock numbers, and labor capacity.

Adaptation to Nature’s Rules: Adapting your grazing plan to nature’s rules, as promoted by Holistic Resource Management (HRM), can lead to a healthier and more sustainable ranching model. This might involve changes like shifting calving dates, winter grazing, and more frequent cattle movement.

Let’s explore the first steps toward healthier rangelands.

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