What is strip grazing?
Simply put, strip-grazing is moving livestock to different parts of the pasture a number of times each day (depending on the pasture). Large pastures are divided into smaller plots using temporary fences or grid spiders and put the livestock farmer in a position to manipulate and control grazing effectively.
Why is rest the key to high production per day?
Plants, including grasses, clovers and herbs get “stressed” from overgrazing and need time to recover after being grazed. Without a proper break, growth per day drops.
When plants fall below a certain height, the ability to use photosynthesis diminishes, reducing growth per day.
An American test shows this nicely:
Indicates that root growth ceases for 17 days when 90% of the above-ground mass is removed by grazing, mowing, or bareing after grazing. The plant kills underground parts to release carbohydrates, in order to initiate the first regrowth.
Displays the situation when 70% of the above-ground mass is removed. There is still a stagnation of growth, due to the excessive removal of aerial parts, leaf mass.
Plant growth continues up to a maximum of 50% removal of leaf mass. This is because there are enough green leaf parts to keep photosynthesis going.
Land-based livestock farming is originally in the solar energy business; using chlorophyll, solar energy is converted into vegetation, which is harvested with animals to get the solar energy into the bank account as money, through the sale of milk and/or meat. – Ado Bloemendal
When the cattle are allowed to continuously graze a pasture, they eat the most nutritious grasses, clovers and herbs first. As a result, some parts of the pasture become over-grazed, while other less appetizing areas become under-grazed. Animals will return to the more palatable parts of the pasture and graze, without giving the plants the optimal time to develop strong roots.
This causes the tasty varieties to get into trouble and the less tasty varieties to expand. This means that weed control must take place or a plot must be renewed earlier.
Plans to start strip grazing:
The best way to start is by drawing up a grazing plan using a map of the pastures.
The best crop length is the point just before the crop blooms. Crops are in the highest growth phase.
When deciding how to structure the grazing, it is important to take into account that sufficiently wide pastures will allow the most even grazing. From there you can start subdividing the pastures using grid spiders.
Pure Graze has put together a starters package for grazing: https://www.puregraze.com/product/gallagher-starterspakket/
This includes everything you need to have in order to correctly start with strip-grazing and ensure good results.
The best option to get the most out of strip grazing is to use grid spiders and use temporary fencing to subdivide the pasture. The portable fencing allows you to flexibly apply your grazing plan.
If a particular pasture setup doesn't work, the fence can easily be moved to apply a new strategy.
Rules of thumb:
For the highest growth per day, it is important to shear in just before the crop starts flowering. If livestock starts grazing too early, growth per day decreases because the immature root system cannot withstand the stress of grazing and the weight of the livestock.
Don't let livestock graze more than half of the crop. Once animals have grazed half the grass in the pasture, it's time to move them to the next piece, which is ready for grazing.
Trust the crop instead of the calendar. The recovery time from pastures is generally 20 to 60 days, depending on the season. Evaluate the plant growth per day and then decide whether the pasture has had enough rest time.
Applying strip grazing ensures that livestock always have a nutritious and tasty crop with every mouthful they take.
Good management on all fronts of the company, lead to higher growth per day and higher profitability!
Contact Pure Graze to draw up a good grazing plan for grazing management on your farm.
For more information, go to: https://www.puregraze.com/advies/natuurlijk-werken/
Why would you go strip grazing? Because it makes money!!