Agriculture and Environment: Beef

Better Management Practices: Pasture Management & Rotations

There are indications that improved pastures and pasture management can reduce the amount of open pastureland devoted to cattle.

There the possibility of increasing the current global carrying capacity of 1.5 head of cattle per hectare to as much as 10 head per hectare with improved pasture management and better feeding regimes.


The strategy of semistabled, semigrazing projects in small farms has indicated that carrying capacities of 10 cattle per hectare can be achieved. Integrated systems of grazing and feeding and the use of wastewater for pasture fertilisation improve the palatability and feed quality of pasture crops.

With more efficient carrying capacities, former pasture areas can be liberated for other crops or for other uses entirely, including habitat restoration.

In addition, more and more farms are finding that different animals (e.g., sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits) will eat different parts of the pasture, so sequential rotation patterns not only improve pasture over time, they allow farmers to better utilise the full economic returns from pastures.

Credits

Extracts from "World Agriculture & Environment" by Jason Clay - buy the book online from Island Press

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