Rotational grazing requires using fences – permanent, temporary, or a combination – to keep cattle where the grazier wants them to harvest forage.
In continuous grazing, a single pasture is grazed 100% of the time with no rest period.
A single fence dividing that pasture into two increases the rest period from zero to 50%, and reduces the grazing period for both pastures to 50%.
Each additional paddock in the grazing system further increases the rest period and reduces the grazing period. This figure illustrates that pattern.
Source: Lemus, R. 2008. Developing a Grazing System. Forage News. Mississippi State University Extension Service. https://msucares.com/crops/forages/newsletters/08/6.pdf
Electric fencing is a lower-cost option for subdividing larger, permanently fenced pastures. It also allows more flexibility – paddock sizes can be adjusted to the amount of available forage, the number of cattle, and the desired length of the grazing period.
Publications and Videos Related to Fencing
In this short video, learn how to attach an insulator to an electric fence.
In this short video, Ralph Harris of NRCS Arkansas demonstrates tying your electric fence to end poles, using a knot that allows maximum flexibility.
Ralph Harris of Arkansas NRCS demonstrates how to splice two electric fence wires together with a knot that is smooth and conducts electricity well at a workshop sponsored by the Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Association in Wilson, Oklahoma, in June 2011.