Working with Nature to Build Organic Soil, Part 5: Sustainable Grazing

| 5/17/2016 1:19:00 PM

Tags: soil building, healthy soil, sustainable grazing, climate change, soil carbon, methane, mob grazing, raising livestock, cattle, Mary Lou Shaw, Ohio,

The previous articles in this series have shown how plants build soil by converting atmospheric carbon into sugars which then become humus, nature’s precious topsoil. We’ve seen that cover crops, compost and compost tea all complement this system.

In this post, we’ll look at the essential role that grazing animals have in this system, and how to successfully manage our ruminants in a sustainable manner.

Dutch Belted cows on pasture

Sustainable (Planned) Grazing

What is sustainable grazing?: By definition, sustainable grazing allows nature to keep our pastures, soil and animals healthy long-term with minimal inputs. Although ruminants have been blamed for depleting forage and contributing to climate change, mimicking nature allows us to graze our animals sustainably.

How Can We Imitate Nature When Grazing Animals?

To see how nature has kept the planet healthy for thousands of years while providing food for indigenous people, we only need to think of buffalo herds on North American prairies or antelope grazing the Serengeti plains or caribou herds roaming the arctic tundra.

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