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://www.oac.msstate.edu/newsletters/forage-news/2008/developing-grazing-system
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
Grazing Management Basics
This presentation covers grazing systems and their benefits, grazing terms and calculations, pasture design, and grazing strategies.
Multiple Species Grazing in Oklahoma
Electric Fencing for Serious Graziers
Electric Fence FAQ
Electric Fencing Cost Comparison
Electric Fence for Small Ruminants
Electric Fencing Closeup: How to Attach an Insulator
In this short electric fencing video, learn how to attach an insulator to an electric fence.
Electric Fencing Closeup: How to Tie a Flexible End Loop
In this short video, Ralph Harris of NRCS Arkansas demonstrates tying electric fencing wire to end poles, using a loop knot that allows maximum flexibility.
Electric Fencing: How to Splice Wires Together
In this electric fencing video, Ralph Harris demonstrates how to splice two wires together with a smooth, conducting knot.
Electric Fencing with Ralph Harris, part 1
In this video, NRCS electric fencing expert Ralph Harris leads a hands-on workshop. (Part 1 of 3).
Electric Fencing with Ralph Harris, part 2
In this video, NRCS electric fencing expert Ralph Harris leads a hands-on workshop. (Part 2 of 3)
Electric Fencing with Ralph Harris, part 3
In this video, NRCS electric fencing expert Ralph Harris leads a hands-on workshop. (Part 3 of 3)