Management intensive grazing (aka cell grazing, rotational grazing, or controlled grazing):
- builds fertility
- recycles nutrients
- conserves energy
- emphasizes management over the system or its components
Rotational grazing: moving livestock from pasture to pasture, allowing each pasture to rest before being grazed again.
Changing from continuous to rotational grazing allows livestock producers to
- increase stocking rates
- extend the grazing season
- decrease labor
- improve animal health (lower parasite loads)
- reduce input costs
Management decisions revolve around the period of rest plants receive during the growing season. During the rest period, plants are allowed to recover from grazing and produce new growth.
The length of rest varies with season and forage species. It depends on the amount of forage left in the pasture after the animals are moved. Pastures will recover faster and produce more usable forage when sufficient forage is left after grazing.
Rotational grazing builds links between the health of soils, plants, and animals.
The Kerr Center introduced rotational grazing to southeastern Oklahoma. The system works – soil fertility has been maintained at generally the same levels since 1986 without adding costly fertilizer.
Publications Related to Managed Grazing
Fact Sheet: Grazing Management
This fact sheet summarizes the Kerr Center’s experience with and recommendations for grazing management.
Grazing Management Basics
This presentation covers grazing systems and their benefits, grazing terms and calculations, pasture design, and grazing strategies.
Setting up a Management Intensive Grazing System
This intern report presents the results of a summer management intensive grazing project.
How We Converted Bermuda Pasture to Organic Vegetables
This fact sheet describes how to eliminate bermudagrass from future vegetable fields using a sorghum-sudangrass cover crop.
Soils and Organic Fertility Management
This presentation discusses the management of soil fertility under organic regulations.
Blending Guide for Low-Analysis Fertilizers
This handout discusses points to consider when blending organic fertilizers. It contains several tables of nutrient contents of different organic fertilizers.
Compost & Soil Humus Resource List
Hot Composting with the Berkeley Method
This intern report describes the results of a summer project that attempted to make finished compost in 14 days using the Berkeley method.
Sustainable Livestock Production Circle
This diagram illustrates the basic interconnection between soil, forages, animals, and weather in livestock production.
USDA-NRCS Soil Health Assessment
This page contains links to soil quailty indicator worksheets for assessing indicators of soil health, developed by USDA-NRCS.
Soil Sampling and Analysis
On-Farm Mortality Composting of Livestock Carcasses
ATTRA Resources on Sustainable/Organic Pasture and Forage Management
Management Intensive Grazing
Layout and Design of Grazing Systems
Enough Grass to Make Your Head… Rotate
Soil Health and How it Relates to Healthy Cattle
This presentation covers simple soil health monitoring techniques, basic soil science, and sustainable livestock management.
A&L Soil Analysis Fee Schedule
This is a fee schedule from A&L Laboratories.
A&L Reference Guide: Soil Sampling
This guide covers procedures, tools, sample preparation, size, depth, and timing, and recommendations for specialized sampling locations and situations.
Soil Test Interpretation for Vegetable Crops
This is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service publication number HLA-6036.
A&L Soil Sample Information Sheet
This is a soil sample submission form from A&L Laboratories.
Soil Testing: The Right First Step
This is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service leaflet number L-249.
OSU Soil Test Pricing
This is the 2011 fee schedule from OSU’s Soil, Water, and Forage Analytical Laboratory.
Soil Testing, Soil Sampling, and Soil Fertility
This presentation discusses soil nutrient management.
Soil Management: Site Selection, Soil Fertility
This presentation discusses the management of soils for market farming operations.