Can livestock actually help restore grasslands and reverse climate change?

October 14, 2015

 

Much of what we have been told in the past suggests that grazing of livestock has contributed to desertification around the world.  Holistic planned grazing™ shows us that grazing animals are, in fact, essential to grass land health and can stop or even reverse desertification if managed using planned grazing™ principles. 

 

Holistic planned grazing™ is a method of managing livestock to regenerate grasslands, increase soil carbon and produce healthy animals.

 

Holistic planned grazing™ is especially effective in dry or brittle environments. Understanding the predator / prey relationship in animals key to successful management of livestock. Holistic planned grazing™ aims to mimic nature, that is, large numbers of grazing animals moving over grasslands as they would if pack hunting animals were present in their environment.

 

This natural movement of animals results in pasture being grazed, trampled, urinated and dunged upon over a short period of time. This is then followed by sufficient time to fully recover before being grazed again. Holistic planned grazing™ shows us that grass lands actually respond better to this grazing regime than when livestock is completely removed from a system.

 

Holistic planned grazing™ is important aspect of Holistic Management a decision making and planning process developed by Allan Savory. This method of land management takes in to account environmental, social and economical considerations to ensure each management decision is an informed one.

 

There are many great examples of farmers from around the world, including Australia, that are successfully using Holistic Management and Holistic Planned Grazing™ to run their properties.

 

MMLAP staff and landholders have been learning about Holistic Management through an online course run by the Savory Institute. More recently two staff members attended a four day international conference on Holistic Management– ‘Artisans of the Grasslands’ and heard and saw first hand what farmers are achieving.  The results from around the globe are impressive and MMLAP firmly believe that this could be effectively implemented in our region.

 

MMLAP intends to further explore the benefits and implementation of this management technique and welcomes interest from landholders wishing to find out more or being involved in future workshops, training events or to be shown where more information can be found.

 

To learn more visit the Savory Institute website.

 

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