Root systems of feed herbs react differently when grazed by livestock, based on the growth stage and the frequency of grazing. Feed herbs which are regularly used up to the soil are grazed, narrow in composition and have a small root system.
Feed herbs that are grazed at a later stage by means of strip grazing have roots that reach twice or even four times as deep.
Better rooting means a better chance for fungi that go deeper and deeper into the soil.
Timing is everything with success grazing management. Applying strip grazing leads to a green feed production increase from 3,000kg to 5,000kg dry matter per hectare per year.
More chlorophyll area = more photosynthesis = more carbon in the soil. All for the good of the mycorrhizas!
Grazing and the 'pulling' of livestock to plants stimulates greater rhizosphere activity. Mowing results in a clean 'crack' that closes easily. However, grazing by grazers requires more protein to close that crack, releasing more carbon into the soil at the roots due to amino acids in the grazed or mown tops of the crop.
Some of the roots will be shed after grazing as the plant restores the balance between aboveground and underground parts. The grazers maintain the soil food web and also by trampling the crop. Soil cover protects the micro-organisms in the soil as it catches its breath, preventing evaporation while keeping the soil temperature low. – There can be a difference of 20 degrees!
The excitement of grazers being offered a new fresh patch of herbal ley is priceless!
The worst plots can be made 'healthy' again by starting the soil food web through 'pulse grazing' or strip grazing. Allowing grazers to graze for a short period of time starts building great soils with a higher organic matter content. Add forage herbs and the carrying capacity of the land increases!
The livestock farm becomes more profitable and sustainable as we can increase the dry matter production per hectare increase without external input!
View the results of 2 different grazing systems here:
*Plus: 2 verschillende gewassen in de zomer
*Alle 4 foto’s van afgelopen week – Week 32
– Foto 1 en 2: Standweiden met voornamelijk Engels Raaigras + kunstmest
– Foto 3 en 4: Stripgrazen met voederkruiden