Managing the harvest of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals.
This is often attained through a rotational or mob grazing system where pastures are divided into four or more pastures or paddocks with fencing. Cattle are moved from paddock to paddock on a prearranged schedule based on forage availability and livestock nutrition needs.
How it helps
Improves or maintains:
species composition and vigor of plant communities;
quantity and quality of forage for grazing and browsing animal health and productivity;
surface and subsurface water quality and quantity;
riparian and watershed functions;
quantity and quality of food and cover available for wildlife.
Prescribed grazing also helps to reduce erosion and improve profits.
Have you developed a grazing plan that includes your goals and objectives?
Take a resource inventory that identifies:
existing plant health and quantity;
opportunities to enhance plant conditions;
paddocks, acres, and the location of structural improvements such as fences, water developments, etc. using a plan map; and
ecological sites or forage suitability groups when available.
Take a forage inventory of the expected forage quality, quantity and species in each management unit.
Take a forage-animal balance (carrying capacity) for the grazing plan that identifies forage surpluses and deficiencies for the kind and class of grazing livestock, and browsing wildlife of concern.
Develop a contingency plan that adjusts the grazing prescription in case of flood, drought, insects, etc.
Monitor data and grazing records regularly to ensure objectives are met, or to make necessary changes.