Mob grazing seems to be the new craze in cattle and dairy operations, with many people standing up to take notice, either in favor of or in opposition to it. Opinions are definitely mixed, and, with little research having been done as of yet, virtually all of the information related to this grazing method is anecdotal at best.
Of course, that being said, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, nor does it mean that it does. Likewise, I don’t know if there is any concrete, long-term evidence as to whether it is a practice that is in the long-term benefit of the animals or the prairie/pasture on which they feed. The verdict is still out on that one. In my mind, all of this discussion and the many positive testimonials simply means it’s POSSIBLE that mob grazing may be an option for you to consider for your operation.
This article does not aim to be a complete disection of the method or the various benefits and drawbacks, but merely “trigger” to get you reading about it an considering it’s potential usefulness to your operation in light of the information that IS available. You may or may not decide that this is something you want to pursue, but, hopefully, you’ll at least make that decision from an educated perspective.
What Benefits Does Mob Grazing Claim to Offer?
Well, the promoted benefits are many. Proponents suggest that “proper” utilization of mob grazing results in healthier animals, denser and more healthy forage, fewer weeds, higher organic matter and less compaction in the soil, the possibility of year round grazing, better soil moisture holding ability, etc.
That’s a pretty long laundry list of benefits from a grazing system alone. No mention of specific product inputs or changes in fertilizer practices (except to eventually eliminate this need).
In fact, IF the proponents are right, if large numbers of dairy and cattle farmers chose to go this route, this could mean a significant hit to my income, since a large part of my fertilizer sales are to dairy and cattle owners. If they don’t need fertilizer, they don’t need my products.
But, on the other hand, if this really works, I don’t see how I can keep quiet about it. Farmers are hurting, our soils are becoming dry, acidic and deplete from over fertilization and chronic chemical applications. If this method could curb that trend and rejuvenate our soils while helping farmers to increase their bottom line and bring stability back to their farms, I feel I have a responsibility to at least talk about it.
Resources for Further Study
By no means am I an expert on this subject, so I won’t pretend to be one. But, I will direct you to some resources that I found particularly useful in my study of the issue. Some are for, some against, some just informational in nature. Take them for what they are: information. Then, make your own decisions as to whether this might be something worth pursuing on your farm or ranch.
Regarding the video above, this is a presentation given by the “inventor” of the idea of mob grazing. Although I am not one who puts much stock in the “climate change” hysteria, I do believe that there is reasonable evidence that many grassland areas are turning to desert, which cannot be a good thing with populations rising and people already starving.
Besides the benefit to regular farmers/ranchers in terms of managing their herds most cost effectively, I do believe there is massive opportunity here to reclaim many of these desert areas and provide a means for many hungry people to be fed at minimal expense.
So, I look past all of the “climate change” rhetoric because I believe Mr. Savory has stumbled upon something that truly could have a big impact on worldwide hunger and the widespread loss of vegetation around the world, even in areas where there is NOT widespread industrialization.
A Skeptical Look at Mob Grazing – This is an interesting one. Some good points made, but also some points that I believe have simple and logical counter-arguments. Tell me what you think. Where is he right? Where is wrong?
MobGraze.com – It would seem that this site would be a “pro” mob grazing site, but I’m not entirely sure. Either way, there are ALOT of links to various articles on the subject of grazing, many of them related to mob grazing (by numerous names) in particular.
Ranchers Sing the Praises of Mob Grazing – I’m not sure if they are ALL singing the praises of this method (many have tried and failed), but, certainly the ranchers highlighted in this article appear to be seeing positive results. Worth a read. It’s a relatively long and detailed article on the topic.