Why You Should Use Rotational Grazing on Your Farm
No one ever said farming was easy work, but economic recession, working restrictions and temperamental Australian weather have made life all the more challenging on a farm in 2020. Making life a bit easier through trying times often requires clever solutions. Rotational grazing is one farming practice that is becoming increasingly more popular. With the right execution, this grazing strategy can increase productivity and profitability.
What is Rotational Grazing?
Farmers who utilise rotational grazing on their property move cattle from one paddock to another on a regular basis. Each paddock must be stocked with everything the cattle need, because this will be their home for a certain time. Properly stocking a paddock means making sure it has grass, water and usually shade and shelter. Rotational grazing is especially effective because it allows grazing livestock to eat younger and more tender plant stems, giving them greater nutritional input. A proper rotational grazing strategy will see to it that the grass has grown just enough by the time it is eaten; for livestock, this is a preferable meal to the alternative.
The key to a successful rotational grazing strategy is knowing when to move the cattle. The idea is to move livestock through a sequence of paddocks; by the time the sequence is completed, and the cattle go back into the first paddock, the pasture has regrown enough to provide sufficient feed. The rate at which a farmer will move livestock into the next paddock depends on a variety of factors, including the number of cattle, size of the paddocks and environmental conditions, such as weather. Australia’s climate can be highly variable depending on where you are in the country, but rotational grazers often move cattle relatively quickly when compared to other countries.
While it’s all well and good to move cattle about the farm, knowing how to best take advantage of that process is the key to increasing your property’s productivity and profitability. The health of cattle will improve from increased freedom of movement. Cattle with increased freedom of movement become fitter and are consequently less prone to injuries and ailments. Grazing cattle have a more natural environment than others which are grain fed, and this helps their health as well. Paddocks used in rotational grazing often requires less work and input to upkeep. This can reduce expenses on a farm, increasing profitability.
It’s also thought that rotational grazing is more environmentally sustainable than other means of feeding animals. When given a break from grazing livestock, paddocks are left to grow healthily without disruption from being consumed. Rotation grazing provides the following key benefits:
- Allows farmers to increase the number of cattle on their farms.
- Supports the continued rearing of pasture grazing species.
- Freedom of movement reduces cattle’s vulnerability to parasites.
- Ethically and environmentally preferable over other means of rearing cattle.
Although it may not be suitable for the layout of every farms, rotational grazing can help farmers manage their livestock more productively. In unpredictable economic times, there’s little reason to ignore profitable rearing strategies. For more information on grazing strategies, reach out to the team at Steel Supplies Charters Towers.