Cell Grazing goes by a multitude of names: There is Managing the Ranch as a Business with Restoration Grazing; Ranching for Profit; Holistic Management; Mob Grazing, Managed Grazing, Controlled Grazing; Management Intensive Grazing (MiG) and a dozen or so others each of which attempts to distinguish itself from the others in one way or another.
Over the years men like Stan Parsons, Greg Judy, Ian Mitchell-Innes, Alan Nation, Jim Gerrish, Joel Salatin Dave Pratt and a dozen others have carried the torch and have proven that “this stuff really does work.”
But the fact remains the fundamental concepts of this approach to grazing management were originally developed by Alan Savory, a Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) game biologist that had had no formal training in conventional range management. His approach is modeled after the way wild grazing animals (in the presence of pack hunting predators) use (and have used) the land (for millions of years). Sometimes I still instinctively refer to what I am about to write about as the “Savory Grazing Method” in honor of its originator.
The Savory Grazing Method provides the flexibility necessary to accommodate the plant’s physiological needs while increasing the efficiency of energy flow and speeding the nutrient cycling process. It does this by simulating the grazing pattern of large wild herds. This, in turn, is accomplished by concentrating animals onto small portions of the total available area for relatively short periods of time.
Such a program should never be rigid.
- Stocking rates are adjusted as needed.
- The livestock are never forced to eat everything. The fact is that, particularly during periods of active plant growth, they are allowed to be very selective and therefore are much better off nutritionally.
- Livestock are never moved from one area on any particular calendar date. Instead total flexibility is maintained, where stock movements are dictated by current growth rates of range plants.
This is accomplished by fencing the management area into smaller pastures (called “paddocks” in Africa where this idea originated). There are some interesting and often overlooked phenomena about the number of pastures on a ranch. Part II. Range Rest picks up on some of those oversights.
Source: Transcript of a Tape Recorded Session Made at Alan Savory and Stan Parson’s Rancher School. Albuquerque, NM. Spring 1982.
Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume [send him mail] is President and CEO of Land & Livestock International, Inc.
- Managing the Ranch as a Business: The Role of Time (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)
- Getting Into the Cattle Business: Buying a Ranch and Making it Pay (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)
- Managing the Ranch as a Business: Key Insights. (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)
- Managing the Ranch as a Business: The Brittleness Scale (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)
- And the Myths Live on: Thoughts on the 2010 Meeting of the Texas Section of the Society for Range Management (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)
- Managing the Ranch as a Business: The Role of Predator and Prey (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)
- The Myth that is Conventional Range Management (landandlivestock.wordpress.com)