If you're watching your livestock pasture turn to desert, holistic resource management provides hope for greener times.
Allan Savory, America's chief proponent of holistic resource management, examines the results of overrested rangeland near Albuquerque, N.M. — dead grass and weakened browse, both due to poor water cycling.
PHOTO: SAM BINGHAM
A cluster of grass showing typical symptoms of overgrazing — a dead center with deformed blades lying flat against the ground.
Esquipula Chavez, governor of Sandia Pueblo, N.M., near the center of his nine-paddock cell. The corridor around the cell keeps cattle from loitering near the water troughs. Separating pens and loading facilities are located within the corridor.
With HRM, the stock is concentrated in one area at a time. When the animals return to where they started, fresh grass is waiting. Twelve or 13 days in each section will give the land 90 days' rest between grazings. Four or five days will give the land 30 days' rest.
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Fence line dividing the Barlite Ranch (Texas) on the left and a neighboring ranch on the right. Even with a cattle-stocking rate of more than double its neighbor, the Barlite produces more and superior graze, thanks to HRM.